Have you Been Charged with Obstructing or Hindering Firefighters Georgia?
Firefighters, police officers, and EMT's are all people whose job is to save lives and respond to emergency situations. However, there are times when the public obstructs or hinders them from doing their job. Deterring a firefighter from performing their duties is a crime in Georgia, and if you have been charged with such a crime, you need legal representation immediately. You could face harsh consequences so contact Lawson and Berry today and speak with one of Georgia's top criminal defense attorneys.
What Constitutes Obstructing or Hindering Firefighters in Georgia?
O.C.G.A, § 16-10-24.2 outlines the two ways that a person can be guilty of obstructing or hindering firefighters:
- When a person knowingly and willfully obstructs or hinders any firefighter in the lawful discharge of the firefighter's official duties or
- When a person knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any firefighter in the lawful discharge of the firefighter's official duties by offering or doing violence to the person of such firefighter.
Penalty for Obstructing or Hindering Firefighters in Georgia
A person convicted of knowingly and willfully obstructing or hindering a firefighter from performing their duties will be guilty of a misdemeanor. In Georgia, misdemeanor charges can carry up to $1,000 in fines or up to one year in jail, or both.
However, a person convicted of obstructing or hindering a firefighter from doing their duties by threatening or doing violence to such person will be guilty of a felony and face a prison term between one and five years. In addition, felony convictions can make it difficult to obtain housing, employment, or credit.
Defenses to Obstructing or Hindering a Firefighter in Georgia
Innocence: Everyone makes mistakes including law enforcement officers. If the officer charged the wrong person with the crime, any evidence showing you were not at the scene or you were not the one who committed the crime would be greatly beneficial.
Lack of Evidence: Evidence is crucial in any criminal case. The prosecution must present evidence showing you are guilty of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is not enough evidence, then you cannot go to trial. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney would be essential in this situation to help you get the charges dropped.
Lack of Intent: A conviction for obstruction or hindering a firefighter requires that the accused knowingly or willfully obstructed the firefighter. If you had no intent to obstruct or hinder, then you cannot be guilty of the crime.
The Firefighter Was Not in the Lawful Discharge of His Duties: If the firefighter was not lawfully conducting his duties, then no crime has occurred. This defense can be difficult to prove, and the best option is to hire a Georgia Obstruction Attorney to assist.
Because of the potential for severe punishment, it is crucial that you retain one of the premier attorneys at Lawson and Berry. Our Lawyers have over 50 combined years of experience and would be happy to help you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.