There are many crimes which are related to obstruction of justice, and most of these are fairly common misdemeanor offenses in Florida. The Fort Walton Beach Police discovered that a woman who was previously involved in an alleged kidnapping had lied to them

Woman lies to local police about being kidnapped

The 21 year old female had told police that two men in the Ferry Park area had tried to kidnap her earlier the same week. She had initially stated that the two men pulled up in a gray van for a painting company and tried to abduct her. When the police investigated, they did find the van matching the description, interviewed the men, and collected evidence from the area. After making contact with the suspects, they again spoke with the woman who made the initial report, and during that conversation she admitted the entire story was a lie. She will be charged for the false account.  

Filing a false police report is a first degree misdemeanor in Florida, which means the person charged can be sentenced to up to 364 days in jail. 

Obstruction of justice

Procedural crimes and obstruction of justice are fairly broad categories of crimes including resisting arrest, giving false names, harassment or retaliation against witnesses, tampering with evidence, impersonating a police officer, threats against public officials, and other related offenses. These are actually common types of crime because someone can be charged for merely misleading the police, as well as being physically uncooperative during an arrest or investigation for unrelated crimes. A charge like resisting arrest without violence in commonly added by police in Florida while a suspect is in custody, even if it is unwarranted. While most of these crimes are misdemeanors, the consequences of a conviction can be serious and affect someone’s future employment prospects and financial plans.  

Proving the crime

For the state to prove any of these crimes, there are multiple elements which must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt. This may not always be easy for the state depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. They will need concrete evidence usually in the form of written statements of video evidence to prove that the person intentionally lied, attempted to avoid arrest, destroyed evidence, or engaged in similar activities. 

Some possible defenses are related to witnesses being unavailable, insufficient evidence, or a lack of clear intent. Defense attorneys also know how to negotiate with prosecutors and they may be able to get an offense dropped to a lesser charge, a reduced sentence, or totally dismissed depending on the strength of the relevant evidence. Many defendants actually take plea deals to weak cases while in court, even though they could have been given a lesser sentence with the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. 

Get help from a local criminal defense lawyer in Fort Walton Beach

The attorneys at ASG Legal are available to assist after you have been arrested for any crime. They can advise you about the specifics of Florida law for obstruction crimes and come up with a defense strategy based on your particular case.