Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Recent Story about a Georgia Man Exemplifies Felony Obstruction and Terroristic Threats

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

Demetrious Faust ended up with a plethora of charges this past weekend. According to reports in Clarke County, he allegedly committed the following acts:

  • Threatened the lives of police officers
  • Tied the doors to a Georgia courthouse shut
  • Climbed a parking deck attendant's booth
  • Indecently exposed himself to officers
  • Repeatedly ignored commands from authorities
  • Shouted and cursed people
  • Trapped a judge in the courthouse

The reasoning for Faust's behavior has not been given. He communicated to an officer that he was upset because someone stole his tools, but after that, no one was clear as to why he was acting this way. Everything occurred at 10:30 AM on Broad Street in Athens. 

He was allegedly taken to a hospital and cleared by a doctor before being transported to Clarke County Jail. 

Faust has been charged with felony terroristic threats, felony obstruction, public indecency, disorderly conduct and interference with government property. 

Let's look at the law behind the two felonies Faust is being accused of committing last Sunday.

Obstruction in Georgia

Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer in Georgia can be a misdemeanor or a felony. According to the statutes below, the only difference between the obstruction offenses is offering or committing violence towards the officer. 

A misdemeanor obstruction charge is defined by Georgia law as “when a person knowingly or willfully obstructs or hinders any law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties.” O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(a). 

If you are convicted of the misdemeanor obstruction offense, you could face up to twelve months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, or both.

A felony obstruction charge is defined by Georgia law as “when a person knowingly and willfully resist, obstruct, or oppose any law enforcement officer, prison guard, correctional officer, community supervision officer, probation officer, or conservation officer in the lawful discharge of his or her official duties by offering or doing violence to the person.” O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(b). 

If you are convicted of the felony obstruction offense, you could face anywhere from one to five years in prison, a minimum fine of $300, community service, or anger management classes.

Terroristic Threats in Georgia

Georgia law defines terroristic threats in Georgia as when a person “threatens to commit any crime of violence, to release any hazardous substance, or to burn or damage any property with the purpose of terrorizing another or of causing the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation or otherwise causing serious public inconvenience or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.” O.C.G.A. §16-11-37.

Terroristic Threats in Georgia can be considered as a misdemeanor or a felony. The dividing line between the felony and misdemeanor charge is if the threat suggests the death of the victim. 

If a misdemeanor, then the consequences are up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 fines, or both. 

If a felony, then the consequences are between one to five years in prison, a fine up to $1,000, or both. The penalties will be even greater if the threat is made with the intent to retaliate or threaten any person attending a judicial or administrative proceeding, law enforcement officer, community supervision officer, probation officer, prosecuting attorney or judge relating to the commission of an offense.

Practice Note:

We never assume someone is guilty of everything the police have charged them with. In fact, many times the police escalate the situation and create the circumstances that instigate more bad behavior. We will investigate your case and determine if the actions of the police instigated further violations of the law. If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer today. Our lawyers can walk you through the process step by step and look into what Georgia Criminal Defenses may apply to your particular case.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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