Obstructing is kind of a catchall offense. Obstructing means to willfully hinder or delay a police officer in the discharge of their duties. Sometimes police are faced with unruly people who have not exactly committed an obvious crime. This law was made to allow police to do their job more efficiently. The problem is that the law is somewhat broad so officers can use it to punish even seemingly innocent behavior. For example, yelling at the top of your lungs could be construed as Obstructing. Staring menacingly, under certain contexts, might be interpreted as Obstructing. Police can dole these charges out like Oprah gives away cars.
A similar catchall offense and cousin to obstructing, Disorderly Conduct means to intentionally create a risk of assault. Again, like obstructing, this law is quite broad and can be abused, depending on how an officer chooses to spin the story. Unfortunately, this law disproportionately affects people suffering from mental illness or other antisocial behavior. That is, a person with a mental health condition might act strangely or out of place, which will alarm the general public. And even though the person is quite peaceful, strangers don’t know what this person is capable of. Thus, such odd behavior is likely to be construed as creating a risk of assault even where no such risk exists.
Resisting Arrest means to intentionally prevent or attempt to prevent a lawful arrest. If there’s a warrant, assume the arrest is lawful. Sometimes people’s addresses are not updated with the Department of Licensing or the courts. And sometimes a charge is filed without the person’s knowledge because they didn’t receive the summons in the mail. When they miss court, a warrant is issued. Even though the person did not know about the warrant authorizing their arrest, they can still be convicted of resisting arrest for noncompliance.
False Statement means to knowingly make a false or misleading material statement. A statement is material if it is reasonably likely to be relied on. Whether a statement is material is highly fact specific and will depend on context. The bottom line is don’t lie to the police. You can always politely exercise your right to remain silent or your right to an attorney if you feel uncomfortable about how the conversation is going.
We enjoy a right to free speech. But that right has its limits. The classic illustrative example is that one does not have the right to shout “fire!” in a crowded theater. Words can be powerful. They can be used to move people for good. Words can also be used to cause havoc and pose serious safety concerns. At some point speech becomes criminal as your words gravitate toward creating a risk to public safety. Where do we draw the line? We argue our points and let the jury decide.
Rendering Criminal Assistance
Rendering Criminal Assistance means to protect someone whom you know committed a crime or is being sought by law enforcement. The degree of the charge will depend on the seriousness of the crime committed by the sought-after person.
Weapon offenses include things like Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, or Possessing a Dangerous Weapon. There are many ways one can lose their firearm rights and it’s also possible to restore firearm rights.