An increasingly common criminal charge in Rhode Island is Obstruction of a Police Officer. Rhode Island law on obstructing officer in execution of duty states, “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).” R.I. Gen. Law § 11-32-1.
But what does that mean? More importantly, how do you get an obstruction of a police officer charge dismissed in Rhode Island?
Obstructing a Police Officer is a crime in Rhode Island punishable by up to one (1) year in prison and/or a fine of up to $500. That is serious enough, but you may be surprised to learn that a conviction for Obstructing a Police Officer can appear on your criminal record for up to five (5) years! Allow our attorneys to fight for you to avoid a criminal conviction and erase your arrest for obstruction from your record.
Rhode Island’s vague Obstruction of a Police Officer statute has been challenged on many occasions, often reaching the RI Supreme Court. Our Obstruction of a Police Officer defense attorneys are well versed in the RI caselaw and know how to defend your case. We know that mere words, not just a physical interference with officers, can constitute obstruction under RI law and that only certain situations require an individual to obey an officer’s commands. State v. Duffy, 441 A.2d 524 (R.I. 1982); DeFusco v. Brophy, 311 A.2d 286 (R.I. 1973). But most importantly, if the prosecution cannot prove that (1) the defendant acted knowingly, (2) the defendant “resisted” or “obstructed” a peace officer, (3) the defendant knew the peace officer was in fact a peace officer, and (4) the peace officer was performing an authorized act within his official capacity, our attorneys will motion for a dismissal of your case. State v. Berberian, 416 A.2d 127 (R.I. 1980).
Your ability to beat an obstruction of a police officer charge in Rhode Island will depend on the attorney you have on your side. Allow the experienced attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates to review your case and advocate for your rights. We can successfully defend your case and will expunge the charge from your record for you! We handle obstruction cases everyday and can put you in the best position to successfully overcome this charge. Call us today for a free consultation and allow us to begin preparing your defense!