Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Obstruction of Justice in New Jersey

Our Approach

Our Obstruction of Justice lawyers are committed to fighting your criminal charges. You will benefit from our extensive trial experience. Most importantly, we will be honest about your chances of winning your case. We never guarantee results. However, we absolutely guarantee that we will aggressively fight for you!

Your Obstruction of Justice case is as important to us as it is to you.  Each case is different and we welcome the opportunity to protect & defend you.

When you hire us, you will get complete access to us. We respond to all communications & love answering questions. Our fees are reasonable and we offer payment plans. 

What is Obstruction of Justice in New Jersey?

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1, obstructing the administration of law involves purposefully obstructing, impairing, or perverting the administration of law (or another governmental function) or attempting to prevent (or actually preventing) a public servant from lawfully performing an official function by means of flight, intimidation, force, violence, physical interference, or through any independently unlawful act.

Some examples include:

  • Coming to your friend’s aid while a police officer is making an arrest;
  • Preventing a police officer from questioning a suspect; 
  • Blocking a police officer from entering a building that he/she is lawfully permitted to enter.

Is Obstruction of Justice a Felony or Misdemeanor?

Obstruction of Justice charges can be graded as either a Disorderly Persons Offenses (misdemeanor) or an Indictable Offense (felony).

If the crime is charged as a Disorderly Persons offense.

  • You can face up to 6 months in jail and be forced to pay a fine of up to $1,000.

If the crime is more serious, it will be charged as a Fourth-degree crime.

  • You can face up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If you are convicted of a Disorderly Persons offense, it will stay on your record for 5 years before it will be eligible for expungement.

If you are convicted of a Felony, it will stay on your record for 10 years before it will be eligible for expungement.

An expungement is the legal process where you can get your criminal record erased.

How Does NJ Define Obstruction of Justice?

N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1 provides:
A person commits an offense if he purposely obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from lawfully performing an official function by means of flight, intimidation, force, violence, or physical interference or obstacle, or by means of any independently unlawful act. 

This section does not apply to failure to perform a legal duty other than an official duty, or any other means of avoiding compliance with law without affirmative interference with governmental functions.
An offense under this section is a crime of the fourth degree if the actor obstructs the detection or investigation of a crime or the prosecution of a person for a crime, otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.

Can I be charged for what I say?

This is a very common question.
There is no easy answer.
The law says that you have to commit some type of “physical” action that “interferes” with a police officer’s performance.
However, the law also says that a “threat” can be enough to interfere.
For example, if you threaten a police officer with your “words” in such a way that he/she cannot perform their job, you may face Obstruction of Justice charge. If you’re in this situation, call us. We’re here to help!

Any difference between
obstruction of justice & Obstruction the administration of justice?


In New Jersey, these two phrases or terms are interchangeable.

Obstruction of Justice, Resisting Arrest & Eluding

We call these three charges: The Triplets

When you get one charge, you will usually get charged with all three.  
Resisting Arrest & Eluding charges will almost always accompany Obstruction of Justice charges.

All of these charges arise from the way you interacted with the police officer. If you try to run (eluding) from the police, then you are “interfering” with a police officer’s job.

If you refuse to be handcuffed, then you are also “interfering? with the police officer’s job.

Starting to see a pattern here?


Legal Defenses To obstruction of justice Charges

Every Obstruction of Justice case is fact-sensitive.

This means that your case will be completely unique.

We need to meet with you and hear your story. 
Here are some of the questions we will ask you:

  • How did you interact with the police officer?
  • Was there a communication problem?
  • Did the police officer have an accent or speak in such a way that you could not understand his/her instructions?
  • Was your “interference” with the police officer intentional?

important tip: Be Patient. You will Get Your Day in Court

Remember, a police officer has a very dangerous job.
He or she needs to make split-second decisions under extreme pressure.
If a police officer begins to place handcuffs on you, be patient, you’ll get your day in court.
You just create more problems for yourself when you argue with or insult a police officer.
And never push a police officer!
If you do, you’ll be facing Aggravated Assault charges.

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