Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer

What is Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer?

According to RCW §9A.76.020, a person is guilty of obstructing a law enforcement officer if he willfully hinders, delays, or obstructs any law enforcement officer in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties.

This may include using an officer's time in such a way that hinders or does not allow for forward progress with the criminal investigation.

Penalties for Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer:

Obstructing a law enforcement officer is a gross misdemeanor, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to one year in jail, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both.

Defending an Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer Charge:

There may be a number of defenses to your charge. However, one strategy might be to challenge the charge by calling into question one of its elements. For example, the charge requires that the the obstruction is willful. Therefore, you might argue that you did not willfully hinder, delay, or obstruct. Your defense strategy is crucial, and the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney is strongly advised.