Obstruction of Justice in Illinois
Obstruction of justice in Illinois is a serious criminal offense. A conviction for obstruction of justice can lead to substantial fine and even a lengthy prison sentence. Obstruction of justice in Illinois is a felony and it is punished as either a Class 4 or a Class 3 Felony.
What is Obstruction of Justice in Illinois?
Illinois law defines obstruction of justice as an intentional act that prevents the police from arresting a suspect or an act that obstructs the prosecution of a person. 720 ILCS 5/31-4 lists four separate acts a person must commit to be guilty of obstructing justice. The obstruction of justice of statute states that:
(a) A person obstructs justice when, with intent to prevent the apprehension or obstruct the prosecution or defense of any person, he or she knowingly commits any of the following acts:
(1) Destroys, alters, conceals or disguises physical
evidence, plants false evidence, furnishes false information; or
(2) Induces a witness having knowledge material to
the subject at issue to leave the State or conceal himself or herself; or
(3) Possessing knowledge material to the subject at
issue, he or she leaves the State or conceals himself; or
(4) If a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker of a
child under 13 years of age reports materially false information to a law enforcement agency, medical examiner, coroner, State’s Attorney, or other governmental agency during an investigation of the disappearance or death of a child.
What are Some Examples of Obstruction of Justice in Illinois?
Obstruction of justice encompasses can encompass many trivial things. Obstruction of justice can range from lying to the police to preventing a witness from providing testimony. What is without a doubt is that obstruction of justice does not require a person to perform a physical act to be charged without obstruction of justice. Instead, obstruction of justice can include simply lying to the police.
What are the Penalties for Obstruction of Justice in Illinois?
Obstruction of justice is a Class 4 Felony. Like all Class 4 Felonies, obstruction of justice is punishable by 1-3 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. As a felony offense, obstruction of justice cannot be expunged.
In certain situations, obstruction of justice can be a Class 3 Felony that is punishable by 2-5 years in prison. To qualify for the enhanced obstruction to justice charge, the obstruction must have occurred to further a street-gang or gang activity.
Although the actions that can lead to an obstructing charge may not seem serious, obstruction of justice in Illinois is a serious crime. Like all felonies, a conviction for obstruction of justice can be a life-altering event.
Don’t take chance with your future. As a former Assistant State’s Attorney, Omer Jaleel knows what the State must prove in order to prove you guilty. That knowledge allows Omer to attack the State’s case and create reasonable doubt. Contact Jaleel Law P.C. today, we can help.