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In Washington State, it is a gross misdemeanor to intentionally hinder any law enforcement officer who is operating in his or her official capacity. While this is usually thought of as affecting a police officer, the crime includes firefighters, off-duty officers, prison guards, etc. Of course, one must know their actions are adversely affecting the law enforcement officer.
As it is a gross misdemeanor, if the person charged is convicted, he or she is subject to a maximum penalty of a year (365 days) in jail and a five thousand dollar ($5000) fine.
RCW 9A.76.020 provides "A person is guilty of obstructing a law enforcement officer if the person willfully hinders, delays, or obstructs any law enforcement officer in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties."
A law enforcement officer is described as "any general authority, limited authority, or specially commissioned Washington peace officer or federal peace officer as those terms are defined in RCW 10.93.020, and other public officers who are responsible for enforcement of fire, building, zoning, and life and safety codes."
Obstructing can include running, refusing to provide a driver’s license when required, refusing to step away from an officer arresting someone else, and not leaving the scene of a crime when requested by a public officer, but is not limited to those examples.
Many municipalities have enacted their own Obstruction or Obstructing statutes. Examples include Everett (10.12.180) and Bellingham (7.12.140 – a simple misdemeanor). Other cities like Arlington, Marysville and Shoreline have incorporated the statute into their city code.
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC has extensive history in successfully defending its clients charged with Obstruction or Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer. Such great results are the product of our well-known aggressive representation. We defend our clients up and down the I-5 Corridor, from King County to Whatcom County, as well as Skagit and Snohomish Counties.
If you are charged with, or may be charged with, an obstruction charge, call our office at (360) 659-4950 today for a free, no-pressure consultation.
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC represents clients charged with criminal offenses in Northwest Washington Courts, including King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County and Whatcom County, as well as other counties on a case-by-case basis. These counties include courts in and for the following cities: Anacortes, Arlington, Auburn, Bellevue, Blaine, Bothell, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Kirkland, Lake Stevens, Lynden, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Monroe, Redmond, Sea-Tac, Seattle, Sedro Woolley, Shoreline, Snohomish, and Tukwila, Washington.
The Ashbach Law Offices, LLC represents clients charged focused on DUI – Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Driving, Negligent Driving, Driving with a Suspended License, Hit and Run, Assault, Domestic Violence, Drug Possession (including marijuana), and Paraphernalia Possession, Malicious Mischief, Public Disturbances like Disorderly Conduct, Theft, No-Contact Orders, Harassment, Probation Violation Hearings, as well as speeding tickets.