Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Tampa Criminal Lawyer Available 24/7 813-226-8522
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
Experienced Tampa Criminal Lawyer
Tampa Criminal Lawyer > Blog > Criminal > Are You Obstructing Justice If You Just Go About Your Business Until Your Trial?

Are You Obstructing Justice If You Just Go About Your Business Until Your Trial?


In some comedy sketches, authority figures seem determined to punish the common man for any and every little thing, and when the everyman character dares to ask why, the tyrant keeps issuing more and more demerits until a ridiculous number of them pile up.  The likes of Franz Kafka also wrote about similar situations, where a minor, or even unintentional, mistake can lead to draconian punishments, except this time, the goal was to provoke fear in the audience, not laughter.  It is possible for the state to press additional charges against you while your original criminal case is pending, because of your actions regarding the criminal process.  If you attempt to interfere with any aspect of your investigation or trial, instead of just letting your case progress according to the legally prescribed steps, you could be charged with obstruction of justice.  For help staying on the right side of the law while your case is pending, contact a Tampa criminal defense lawyer.

What Counts As Obstruction of Justice?

Obstruction of justice is an umbrella term for many different actions that defendants engage in to delay the criminal process or unfairly influence the outcome of the case.  It can occur at any stage of the criminal case, from the initial interaction with police that results in an arrest, all the way up to the conclusion of the trial.

Regarding the initial interaction with police, the following actions can lead to obstruction charges:

  • Lying to police about your name
  • Attempting to flee from police on foot or in a car
  • Physically resisting an officer

Instead, you should exercise your right to remain silent until you have a chance to talk to a lawyer.  Then your lawyer can advise you about what to say to police.  You and your lawyer can also discuss possible defense strategies, and your lawyer might even see details in your case that could cause the state to drop the charges.

The definition of obstruction of justice also includes efforts to prevent relevant evidence from reaching the jury.  Defendants can be convicted of obstruction of justice if they destroy or remove physical evidence or if they delete digital files relevant to the case.  Lying under oath, also known as perjury, is another way of attempting to interfere with the criminal process.  The legally acceptable thing to do regarding incriminating evidence is to ask the court not to show it to the jury if the prosecutors did not have the right to collect it.  Regarding your testimony under oath, you have the right to plead the Fifth Amendment rather than making incriminating statements.

The worst kinds of obstruction of justice involve trying to influence other people who are connected to your case.  This includes bribing or threatening witnesses, jurors, and judges.

Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven

A criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid charges of obstruction of justice.  Contact Scriven Law in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn