Experienced Atlantic City NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer Fights Obstruction of Justice Charges
Law enforcement officials in New Jersey are responsible for securing the safety and welfare of all residents. When they choose to take action to prevent wrongdoing, whether during a traffic stop, a drug bust, a fight in a casino or any other criminal activity, it is illegal to interfere with their work. Lying to a cop or trying to impede an investigation in any way may result in obstruction of justice charges. Depending on the circumstances, obstruction of justice charges can be disorderly persons offenses or indictable felony crimes.
If you or someone you know is facing obstruction of justice charges in Wildwood, Little Egg Harbor, Brigantine or anywhere else in South Jersey, speak to a skilled criminal defense lawyer who will protect your rights. John W. Tumelty is a former prosecutor who has been defending clients in Atlantic, Ocean and Cape May counties in NJ for over 30 years. He will mount a defense to your obstruction of justice charges in an effort to protect your record and keep you out of jail.
What Constitutes “Obstruction of Justice” in Margate, Brigantine and Longport, New Jersey?
In the heat of the moment, when police officers are trying to do their jobs, anyone who gets in the way might be viewed as obstructing justice. However, legally speaking, under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1, a cop can charge you with “obstructing the administration of law” if he or she believes you knowingly and purposefully tried to prevent law enforcement officials from doing their job. Any of these actions can result in an obstruction of justice charge in Atlantic City, Margate, Ventnor, Longport and throughout New Jersey:
- Fleeing the scene
- Trying to intimidate witnesses – verbally or physically
- Using any force or violence against the police officers
- Telling lies to hide information or confuse officers
- Being uncooperative with a police officer
- Interfering with an arrest
- Providing false identification or misleading information
In addition to obstructing justice charges, you may also be facing related charges such as:
- Hindering apprehension or prosecution
- Tampering with evidence
- Giving a false name
- Impersonating a police officer
- Resisting arrest
- Eluding arrest
A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor in an effort to get your obstruction of justice charges downgraded and, when possible, dismissed entirely. Often, these charges are the result of miscommunication. You may not have realized you were getting in the way of a police officer’s work.
Further, New Jersey judges have repeatedly said that words alone are not enough to support an obstruction charge. For a charge to stick, the prosecutor needs to be able to prove you took “affirmative” steps to prevent the officer from doing his or her job. If they perceived you were interfering but have no proof of you taking any purposeful action, there may not be enough evidence to convict.
Mr. Tumelty has worked with the prosecutors in municipal courts throughout South Jersey for decades. His own experience as a prosecuting attorney gives him insight into the way the other side thinks. He knows there are reasonable defenses to obstruction of justice and similar charges and he will fight to clear your name. He has successfully defended clients in Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Avalon, Stone Harbor and other South Jersey towns.
What are the Penalties for Obstruction of Justice in New Jersey?
Usually, a charge of obstructing the administration of law is a disorderly persons offense. However, in some circumstances, such as when a person prevents the officer from prosecuting a criminal, you could be charged with a fourth degree crime.
Disorderly persons charge for obstructing justice: up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines
A fourth degree obstructing justice charge: up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
If you are convicted of either charge, you will have a mark on your criminal record. Criminal convictions can prevent you from getting a job, into college, getting a loan or apartment, etc. Thanks to the Internet and a closer eye on security, employers and landlords are doing background checks more than ever before. You need to hire a NJ criminal defense attorney who will fight your charges. Mr. Tumelty is an aggressive lawyer who has successfully represented countless people who have been charged with obstruction of justice. Call him today for a free consultation about your case.
Talk to a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer about Your Charges Today for Free
John W. Tumelty has three offices in South Jersey where he offers free consultations for people who have been charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey. He also offers phone consultations and, when necessary, will come to you. If you are facing obstruction of justice charges in Atlantic or Cape May counties, or any other charges, Mr. Tumelty should be your first call. He will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and your freedom. Call him today and put his experience to work for you.