Obstructing a Peace Officer in Colorado

Lawyer for Obstructing a Peace Officer in Adams County

Colorado police in Adams County like to accuse you of Obstructing a Peace Officer when you make them upset, interfere with their attempt to get information from you or others, or make their job harder in any respect.  Many officers believe they can come into your home or onto your property and that you must let them in. There is always tension between a citizen's right to be left alone and the police's desire to intimidate good people into helping them.

Obstructing an Officer Definition in Arapahoe County

The Definition of Obstructing a Police Officer is found in Colorado Revised Statute 18-8-104, which states:

"By using or threatening to use violence, force, physical interference or an obstacle, such person knowingly obstructs, impairs or hinders the enforcement of the penal law or the preservation of the peace, or the control or abatement of a fire, by a peace officer or firefighter, acting under color of his or her official authority."

While the intent of this law is to protect peace officers, firefighters, and other government officials from harm and any prevention from doing their job, it is often mischarged. Local officers and courts like those in Arapahoe County and Greeley-Weld County are taking advantage of good people who were defending their Constitutional rights, saying something while angry or intoxicated that they don't really mean or won't remember, or even refusing to let police on their property without a warrant.

Attorney Case Example of Obstruction in Douglas County

We recently defended a gentleman accused of this crime for not opening the gate to his business property storage yard for Douglas County deputies who were investigating gunshots. Our client told the deputies that everything was fine and that their assistance was not needed. The deputies jumped his fence and arrested him for Obstruction. The deputies alleged that Colorado citizens have a duty to remove obstacles placed in their way. Colorado law does not impose such a duty.

Obstruction and Resisting Arrest Similarities in Jefferson County, Colorado

This Colorado crime is similar to the charge of Resisting Arrest in Jefferson County. The only difference is that the person charged with Obstruction / Obstructing under C.R.S. 18-8-104 is generally not the direct subject of an arrest. We see this charge in a practical sense when someone refuses to leave an area in Lakewood where police are making an arrest or when citizens become verbally critical of the police.

The portion of the statute that reads "obstructs, impairs or hinders the enforcement of the penal law" is very much a wild card played by police if they can't think of any other law a citizen has broken. Put simply, it is a way for police to punish people for not helping them do their jobs.

When dealing with police, we recommend being respectful and keeping out of their way. Even if you don't assist the police as they request, if you remain respectful and don't physically interfere with their search or arrest, you greatly reduce the chances of your arrest under C.R.S. 18-8-104.

Violation of C.R.S. 18-8-104 Obstructing Police Penalties in Denver County

Obstructing Police is a Class 2 misdemeanor in Colorado. That means that people convicted face the possibility of a 3 to 12 month sentence in the Denver, Colorado County Jail. Of course, judges can and do impose probationary sentences without any jail if the offense is minor or if a person does not have an extensive criminal record.  Judges examine these factors, as well as others, in deciding what sentence to impose for convictions of C.R.S. 18-8-104 Obstruction in Denver County and Arapahoe County.

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If you or someone you know is charged with Obstructing a Peace Officer, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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