Charged with “Obstruction” in Rhode Island? | RI Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you’ve been charged with Obstructing an Officer in Rhode Island, call our criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation. Let our criminal defense experience benefit you!
Obstructing an Officer in Rhode Island
Rhode Island law criminalizes obstructing an officer in the execution of duty. This is a misdemeanor offense, meaning the maximum penalty is one year in jail. Rhode Island General Law § 11-32-1 states:
Obstructing officer in execution of duty. – Every person who shall obstruct any officer, civil, military, or otherwise, including any state, city, or town police, deputy sheriff, or fire fighter, while in the execution of his or her office or duty, shall be imprisoned not exceeding one year or be fined not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500).
Rhode Island Supreme Court’s Views on Obstructing an Officer
While the law itself is vague, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has interpreted the obstruction of an officer statute on many occasions. The elements the State must prove in an obstruction case are:
- The Defendant acted knowingly;
- The Defendant “resisted” or “obstructed” a police officer;
- The Defendant knew s/he was obstructing a police officer; and
- The police officer was performing an authorized act within his official capacity.
Often, obstruction occurs when an individual impedes an officers investigation. This doesn’t even have to be physical and can occur with simply spoken words (ie: providing a wrong name to a police officer).
Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you’ve been charged with Obstructing an Officer in Rhode Island, call our experienced criminal defense attorneys today. We can provide you with a FREE case evaluation appointment. We are prepared to fight for your rights!