Minnesota has a class of offenses known as offenses against the administration of justice. The term “crime against of the administration of justice” may seem complicated, but it essentially refers to offenses that make an officer’s job more difficult. In fact, these offenses are sometimes referred to as “contempt of cop,” because police will often arrest or cite people for these offenses when they become frustrated. There are many offenses classified as crimes against the administration of justice, but the three most common are obstructing legal process, making a false report, and providing a false name to a police officer.
If you have been accused of one of these offenses, you should reach out to a Bloomington contempt of cop lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled attorney could examine the specific circumstances of your interaction with law enforcement and formulate a plan to effectively defend you against these charges.
The crime of obstructing legal process can be committed in a few different ways, but the most common is when police allege someone intentionally resisted them while they were performing their official duties. For example, Minneapolis police have recently been citing people for obstructing when they are engaged in peaceful protest and will not do whatever it is an officer feels they should be doing instead. Many of these people likely have a good defense to these citations based upon their first amendment right to peaceably assemble.
Obstructing legal process can be a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor offense based upon the circumstances. Obstructing is a felony when the person committing the offense caused, or the person knows or has reason to know their act created a risk of, death, substantial bodily harm, or serious property damage. In this situation, the offense is punishable by a maximum of up to 5 years imprisonment and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
Obstructing is a gross misdemeanor when the offender used, or threatened to use, force or violence. The offense is a misdemeanor in all other situations that do not amount to felonies or gross misdemeanors. An attorney in the area could help fight or minimize the consequences of an obstructing legal process charge.
Sometimes people believe filing a false police report will be a good way to get back at someone who has wronged them. However, such an act is a crime under Minnesota law and can be punished as a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor. All that is required to commit this crime is informing an officer that a crime has been committed while knowing the information is false and intending that the officer will act upon the information. This means that someone who falsely reports they have been assaulted, intending that someone else will be arrested, is guilty of false reporting. If someone has been previously convicted of false reporting, subsequent offenses are punishable as gross misdemeanors.
Often people who have come into contact with police will provide a false name in an effort to avoid being apprehended on an outstanding warrant or otherwise facing consequences. Under Minnesota law this is a crime. Someone who provides a false name or date of birth can be found guilty of a misdemeanor. If the false name and date of birth of another real person, like a relative or friend, the person can be found guilty of a gross misdemeanor. In addition to police officers, it is also a gross misdemeanor offense to provide a false name or date of birth to court personnel in connection with a criminal proceeding. Providing a false name to a police officer is a serious offense, and someone accused of it could benefit from the assistance of a qualified Bloomington legal professional.
If you have been charged with any of the above-mentioned offenses, contact a Bloomington justice obstruction lawyer at the BK Law group today. You have rights and the police often ignore those rights. Their failure to honor your rights may provide you with a defense to the charges against you and allow you to avoid both a criminal conviction and the resulting penalties.