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Obstructing justice is a felony offense in Wisconsin.  Let’s start fighting your criminal case: (414) 270-0202

Obstructing justice, or obstruction of justice, is a serious criminal charge in Wisconsin.  While most individuals don’t think twice about lying to certain individuals in the criminal justice system, this kind of thinking can quickly lead to criminal charges.  Obstructing justice is a Class I felony, meaning the charge carries a maximum penalty of 3.5 years in prison.  Although this is on the mitigated end of felony charges, it’s certainly still a serious charge.  The 3.5 years prison breaks down into a maximum of 1.5 years initial confinement and 2 years extended supervision.

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we recognize that these serious charges are life-changing for you.  A felony conviction will change the rest of your life.  And unfortunately, it won’t be in a positive way.  Felony charges make everything difficult moving forward.  Everything from something as renting an apartment, to serious consequences like a lifetime firearm ban and your inability to vote will certainly be impacted.

Finally, our criminal defense attorneys focus 100% of their practice on charges just like yours.  We don’t handle civil cases.  And we’re certainly not a general practice law firm.  Our criminal defense lawyers are specialists and are prepared to defend your case.  You need an ally.  We’re prepared to serve that role in your life.  Contact us at (414) 270-0202, and let’s start fighting.

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What is obstructing justice?

Section 946.65 of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits obstructing justice.  The crime occurs when:

(1)  Whoever for a consideration knowingly gives false information to any officer of any court with intent to influence the officer in the performance of official functions is guilty of a Class I felony.
(2) “Officer of any court” includes the judge, reporter, bailiff and district attorney.
The law certainly seems clear.  The prohibition focuses on attempting to influence the functions of a court, through the influence of actors within that court.  Importantly, although criminal defense attorneys are officers of the court, obstruction of justice charges don’t focus on them during the process.

What are the elements of this offense?

Breaking down the elements of obstruction of justice makes understanding the crime even more clear.  Elements are parts of the offense, and each part must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1815 provides the elements of this offense:

  • Firstly, the defendant gave false information to the officer; and
  • Secondly, the officer was an officer of the court; and
  • Thirdly, the defendant knowingly gave false information to an officer of the court; and
  • Fourthly, the defendant gave false information with intent to influence the officer in the performance of official functions; and
  • Finally, the defendant gave false information for consideration.

There are a few important words used in these instructions that are important to define:

  1. For consideration means that another person provided or agreed to provide some benefit to the defendant for giving false information.
  2. With intent to influence means that the defendant had the mental purpose to influence the officer.
  3. Official functions are duties that an officer of a court is employed to perform.
Obstructing justice in a courtroom
Obstructing justice if a felony offense in Wisconsin. Contact our criminal defense lawyers at (414) 270-0202 for immediate help.

How do we defend your criminal case?

Certainly all criminal cases are different.  And your case, although based on the same criminal charges, is different from the next obstruction of justice case.

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, so let’s start with some advice: don’t speak with the police about your case.  It’s crucial that you remember this.  They can’t force you to give a statement.  And finally, if they are seeking a statement from you, it’s not because they’re still “investigating” the crime.  You’re their suspect.  You’re the person they’re investigating, and if you give a statement you’re making it easier for them to prove a case against you.  And if you’re caught lying to the police, you’re likely only going to amplify the charges against you.

Credibility is always an issue in criminal cases.  Who exactly is the officer of the court involved? What was your relationship with this individual?  Sometimes sending an investigator to speak with the witnesses involved in your case turns up other, important evidence.

At your initial consultation we’ll begin planning your defense.  This website is general, but your meeting with us will be specific.

Finally, contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202

Once you give us a call, we’ll schedule a time to meet in person and discuss the charges against you.  Obstructing cases are serious, and require the attention of an aggressive criminal defense lawyer.

You’ll find that at Meyer Van Severen, S.C.  Our criminal attorneys dedicate 100% of their practice to defending charges just like yours.  Contact us at (414) 270-0202 and let’s start fighting your case.