Course: Criminal Law
Obstruction of justice refers to any action that hinders or interferes with the administration of justice, such as impeding an investigation, tampering with evidence, or intimidating a witness.
In criminal law, obstruction of justice is considered a serious offense that can result in criminal charges and penalties, including fines and imprisonment. The exact definition of obstruction of justice may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the case’s specific circumstances. However, the underlying principle is that individuals must not interfere with the legal process or obstruct the pursuit of justice.
The specific elements of obstruction of justice may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the particular offense charged. However, some common elements that are often required to prove the crime of obstruction of justice include:
- An official proceeding: There must be a valid official proceeding, such as a grand jury investigation, a criminal trial, or a police investigation, that the defendant sought to obstruct or interfere with.
- Knowledge: The defendant must have had knowledge of the official proceeding and the intent to obstruct or interfere with it. This means that the defendant must have been aware that their actions could hinder the legal process.
- Obstructive act: The defendant must have taken some act that obstructed, influenced, or impeded the official proceeding. This may include tampering with evidence, providing false information, or threatening a witness.
- Causal connection: The obstructive act must have a causal connection to the official proceeding. This means that the act must have been intended to interfere with or obstruct the legal process.
- Corrupt intent: The defendant’s actions must have been motivated by a corrupt intent, such as the intent to conceal criminal activity or to obstruct the investigation in order to protect themselves or someone else.
On This Site
[ Glossary ]
Last Modified: 03/10/2023