If you interfere with a police officer who is trying to do their job or in any way interfere with the course of justice, you may be charged with a crime. This can be a difficult truth to face, particularly when you try to help or protect a family member or friend. You may have never intended to obstruct justice or official business. Yet if the police perceive you as interfering or getting in the way, you could find yourself in handcuffs and then court. When this happens, you need to contact one of our crimes against justice attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates. We will conduct an independent investigation into the allegations against you, protect your rights, and determine the strongest possible defense.
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Offenses Against Justice
In addition to crimes against individuals and property, you may also be charged with offenses against justice or law enforcement officers. Some of the most common crimes against justice brought under Ohio law are:
- Disorderly Conduct §2917.11 – Ohio law states that no one may recklessly cause inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm to other people by fighting, threatening others with harm, violent behavior, unreasonable noise, grossly abusive language, taunting or challenging other people in a way likely to provoke violence, preventing movement on public roads, creating physically offensive conditions that present a risk of harm to others, or being drunk in public. In most cases, disorderly conduct is a minor misdemeanor. However, it may rise to the level of a fourth-degree misdemeanor. After being charged with disorderly conduct, your first call needs to be to our crimes against justice lawyers. This offense often arises because of a one-time mistake in judgement. You need to fight against it to avoid tarnishing your record.
- Falsification §2921.13 – It is illegal to knowingly make a false statement, or knowingly swear or affirm the truth of a false statement previously made, when the statement is made in various circumstances, including but not limited to when it is made in an official proceeding, to incriminate another person, to mislead a public official, to receive government benefits, or in connection with a police report. This offense may be a first-degree misdemeanor. However, more serious offenses are charged as fifth-, fourth-, or third-degree felonies. Falsification is a serious crime. Let our crimes against justice attorneys defend you against these allegations.
- Obstructing Official Business or Justice §2921.31, §2921.32 – It is unlawful, when you do not have the privilege to do so and when you have the intention of preventing, obstructing, or delaying the performance by a public official in an authorized act, to take any action that hampers or impedes a public official in their performance of their lawful duties. If you are found to have obstructed a public official in their official capacity, then you may face a second-degree misdemeanor. If your actions created a risk of harm to any person, the offense is a fifth-degree felony. Additionally, Ohio law states that no one, with the purpose to hinder the discovery, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of a person for a crime, shall harbor or conceal the offender, provide the offender with money, transportation, a weapon , or disguise, communicate false information to other people, destroy or conceal physical evidence, or use force or threats to prevent another person from discovering your actions. If the crime the offender committed was a misdemeanor, then you will face the same level of misdemeanor offense. If the offender committed a felony, then you may face at least a fifth-degree felony. However, if the offender killed one or more people, and you obstructed justice, you could be charged with a second- or first-degree felony. If you are accused of obstructing justice or official business in any way, do not hesitate to contact us today. Our criminal defense attorneys have experience handling crimes against peace officers.
- Resisting Arrest §2921.33 -It is illegal to recklessly or by force resist or interfere with the lawful arrest, whether it is your arrest or the arrest of another person. It is also illegal to resist or interfere with an arrest and cause physical harm to a law enforcement officer, brandish a deadly weapon, or recklessly cause physical harm to an officer by means of a deadly weapon. Depending on the circumstances, this offense may be a second- or first-degree misdemeanor or a fourth-degree felony. If you are charged with resisting arrest or harming a police officer during the course of an arrest, contact our attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates. We handle crimes against police officers.
- Obstructing a Search §4301.66 – Ohio law states no one shall hinder or obstruct any officer of the law, agent of public safety, or employee of liquor control from making an inspection or search of any place, other than a bona fide residence, where alcohol is kept, sold, or given away. If you are accused of obstructing any other kind of search, such as a lawful search of a home or vehicle, then you may be charged with obstructing justice or obstructing official business.
- Providing False Information §4513.361 – When you are stopped by a law enforcement officer who is going to issue you a traffic ticket or complaint, you cannot knowingly present, display, or communicate a false name, social security number, or date of birth. If you lie to a police officer about your personal identifying information, then you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If you are not only facing a ticket or traffic offense, but are also in trouble for not providing correct information at the time of the stop, call our crimes against justice attorneys today.
Potential Statutory Penalties
When you have been charged with an offense against justice, you may face a harsh punishment. The best way to exonerate yourself in court, or to at least minimize the consequences of a conviction, is to work with a knowledgeable, experienced, and trusted criminal defense lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates.
- Minor misdemeanor : Punishable by a fine up to $150 and community service
- Fourth-degree misdemeanor : Up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $250
- Third-degree misdemeanor : Up to 60 days in jail and a fine up to $500
- Second-degree misdemeanor : Up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $750
- First-degree misdemeanor : Up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000
- Fifth-degree felony : Up to 12 months in prison and a fine up to $2,500
- Fourth-degree felony : Up to 18 months in prison and a fine up to $5,000
- Third-degree felony : Up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
- Second-degree felony : Up to 8 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000
- First-degree felony : Up to 11 years in prison, unless a longer imprisonment is allowed by a specific statute, and a fine up to $20,000
If convicted of one of these offenses, you also face numerous collateral consequences like having a hard time maintaining your job or getting a new one. You could have difficulties getting accepted into college or obtaining financial aid, including scholarships and grants. Even if you do get through school, you may not be eligible for a professional license or it may be difficult to obtain it based on the profession’s ethics requirements. You could be turned down for apartments and loans, you may lose custody or visitation with your children, and you could face immigration issues. To work to avoid these statutory penalties and secondary consequences of a conviction, call our crimes against justice attorneys today.
Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates Today
When you are being accused of committing an offense against justice, you need to take the situation seriously and obtain professional legal help. Call us at Luftman, Heck & Associates as soon as possible. We will investigate your situation right away in order to determine the prosecution’s weaknesses and gain evidence that supports your defense. If we cannot have the charges dropped or dismissed, we will aggressively pursue the strongest defense strategies available under the law. We will always protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
For over a decade, the Columbus criminal defense lawyers at LHA have successfully represented clients on criminal offenses ranging from minor misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.
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