In the last few discussions, we have talked about obstruction of a law enforcement officer, specifically misdemeanor obstruction. O.C.G.A. § 16-10-24 (b) covers felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer. O.C.G.A. § 16-10-24 (b) provides in essence that whoever knowlingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any law enforcement in the lawful discharge of his official duties by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer is guilty of a felony. A conviction for felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer may be punished by imprisonment of as little as one, or as much as five years.
An essential element of felony obstruction is that the officer is acting in the lawful discharge of his or her duties. Additionally, the defendant must have knowledge that the officer was acting in his or her official character. Basically the defendant has to know that the person trying to arrest them is acting as on duty law enforcement officer. The major element that sets apart felony obstruction is the offering or doing violence facet.
Certain forms of speech can be constituted as offering to do violence. Although mere disagreement or argument is generally not considered felony obstruction, verbal threats will likely support an arrest for felony obstruction. In addition to verbal threats, physical violence toward an officer, i.e. pushing and shoving, can also support an arrest for felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer. If you've been arrested, call the Law Office of Robert L. Booker today. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case and provide you with any defenses or mitigating factors you may have.