There are many crimes that you may not know exist – or crimes that you may not think of when you think of crime. For some people, one of those elusive crimes may be obstruction of justice. Often, obstruction of justice charges are piled on top of other charges, which makes it harder to reach a plea deal or negotiate a better sentence. There are specific actions that you might take that can be considered obstruction of justice, so before you are facing these charges, it is a good idea to know what not to do. If you are already facing obstruction of justice charges, it is important to understand what kind of punishments you may be facing.
The Illinois Criminal Code outlines what constitutes obstructing justice in Illinois. According to the Code, a person is considered to be obstructing justice when his or her actions are done with the intent to prevent the arrest, prosecution or defense of any person. You can be charged with obstructing justice if you commit any of the following actions:
- Destroying, altering, concealing or disguising physical evidence;
- Planting false evidence or giving false information;
- Telling a person to leave the state if they have information about a case;
- Leaving the state if you, yourself, have information about a case;
- Giving false information to a government agency about the death or disappearance of a child; or
- Any other action that inhibits law enforcement’s efforts to carry out justice.
Most of the time, obstruction of justice charges come from interactions with police officers. If you resist arrest or you run away from the police, you could be charged with obstruction of justice. Similarly, if you interfere with a court case, such as destroying evidence or faking a fire alarm to clear a courtroom, you will be charged with obstructing justice as well.
Sentencing for Obstructing Justice
If you are charged with obstructing justice, you could be charged with a misdemeanor of felony charge, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. A conviction of a Class 4 felony can bring with it a sentence of one to three years in prison or 30 months of probation and a fine of up to $25,000.
Get Representation from a Will County Criminal Defense Attorney
Obstruction of justice is a serious crime and is not taken lightly by police officers or judges. If you have been charged with obstruction of justice, you should contact a skilled Joliet criminal defense lawyer right away. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can help you fight for your freedom and protect your future. To set up a free consultation, call the office at 815-740-4025.