Obstructing the Administration of Law
You may be charged with obstruction of the administration of law in Lawrence Township or another municipality in Mercer County if you prevent or attempt to prevent a police officer or other government employee from performing official functions. This can be accomplished through flight, intimidation, force, violence, physical interference, obstacle or another unlawful act. Given the broad range of conduct that can potentially fall within “obstructing”, the offense is extremely common in Lawrenceville, Hamilton, Ewing, Trenton, Princeton, East Windsor and other area towns. It is not surprising that our firm, which is one of the largest in New Jersey, has considerable experience defending obstructing the administration of law and justice charges. If you would like to speak to a defense attorney because you have been charged with this violation, do not hesitate to contact us. Lawyers on our defense team, which include several form prosecutors and has been practicing for over 100 years combined, is available immediately by calling 609–683–8102.Obstructing Offense in Mercer County: Proving the Charge
The criminal offense titled “obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function” is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1. There are basically two ways that someone can hinder or obstruct government functions or law in violation of this statute. The headings below outlines each variety of obstruction under this law.
1. Purposely Obstructing, Impairing or Perverting Administration of Law. The first category of obstruction/hindering is triggered when someone intentionally or purposely obstructs, impairs or perverts a police officer or other public official from administering the law. In other words, the conscious object of the accused must be to produce conduct that will effect an obstruction or otherwise impair execution of the law or other governmental function. Unlike an attempt where actions must fall into certain categories in order to trigger a violation, there is no restriction on the tactics that can form the basis for this variety of obstruction.
b. Purposely Attempting to Prevent Performance of Governmental Function. When someone attempts to prevent a police office from effectuating an investigation or arrest, there conduct must again purposeful in order to violate 2C:29-1. The actor must have the object of preventing lawful performance of duties by the police or another official utilizing physical interference or other obstacles. N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1 is limited to specific types of conduct when the basis for the charge is an attempt to obstruct, hinder, impair or prevent the efforts of police or other officials. This restriction does not apply when the offense stems from purposeful obstruction. When the charge stems from an attempt, the conduct must have involved:
- Physical Interference
- Other Unlawful Act
Obstruction is typically a disorderly persons offense that falls within the jurisdiction of a municipal court such as the one in West Windsor, Hopewell Township, Pennington, Robbinsville or Hightstown. The following are the penalties that may be imposed for obstructing the administration of law as a disorderly persons offense:
- Fine of up to $1000
- VCCO Assessment of $50
- Safe Neighborhood Assessment of $75
- Court Costs of $33
- Jail term of up to six months
- Driver’s license suspension
An obstructing charge can also be enhanced to a fourth degree crime falling under the jurisdiction of the Mercer County Superior Court. This occurs if the defendant is incarcerated, on probation or parole for an indictable crime when he/she commits the 2C:29-1 offense. The penalties for fourth degree obstructing include a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison.Ewing NJ Obstruction Defense Lawyers
As the third largest municipality in Mercer County, Ewing has many obstruction charges filed annually. This is especially true given the presence of TCNJ and all the offenses that arise on campus. Whether your violation arises in this town or another in Mercer County, you best tool for avoiding serious penalties and the collateral consequences of a criminal record is to hire a skilled attorney. The defense lawyers that make the team at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have this pedigree and are prepared to do what is necessary to defend you against this offense. Call our office at 609–683–8102 anytime 24/7 for a free consultation with an lawyer.