In Ohio, obstructing official business has serious consequences. Obstructing official business can include lying to the police or hiding someone who is fleeing the law. It can also occur if you warn someone that the police intend to arrest him or her. It is also considered obstructing official business if you give money, a ride, a weapon, or any means of getting away from police to someone who is fleeing justice. It must be an affirmative act on your part in order to be considered obstruction, meaning that failing to act is not an affirmative action. It can also be charged if you are the individual who is fleeing justice.
This statute can also apply to obstructing the official business of anyone acting in their official capacity, not only the police, but other government officials as well. Theoretically, as an example, if you refused access to the person who reads the water meters you could be charged with obstructing official business.
The charge is a second-degree misdemeanor, and as such carries serious penalties. If you’re convicted, you could spend up to 90 days in jail and face up to a $750 fine. If the obstruction created a risk of physical harm to anyone, it then becomes classified as a fifth-degree felony, and can be punished by up to one year in jail. Beyond those penalties are the life-changing consequences of a permanent criminal record. This could cause serious problems for your current employment and will definitely impact your ability to get future employment or maintain professional licenses.
There are ways in which to defend against these charges. An attorney can help you explore the specific circumstances of the charges brought against you and determine if there are valid defenses.
Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney in Columbus, Ohio?
If you are facing criminal charges of obstructing official business in Columbus, Ohio, you need an attorney who knows the law and can help you navigate these serious charges. Get the representation of a skilled and trusted attorney who can give you the help you need. The Maher Law Firm can help make sure that your rights are protected. Founding attorney, Colin Maher, has in-depth knowledge and experience working with criminal defense cases and he will put his skills at your service. Call The Maher Law Firm today for a free consultation at 614-205-2208 or contact us online.