Any time that someone interferes with any sort of work by law enforcement, federal or state investigators, prosecutors, regulatory agencies, or other officials, this is considered obstruction of justice in Minnesota. However, there are a number of other crimes in Minnesota that may fit under the category of obstruction of justice. Those crimes include:
- Fleeing a police officer
- Witness tampering
- Interfering with a dead body
- Warning a subject that they are being investigated by the police
The following are the reasons why these acts are considered Minnesota obstruction of justice:
Fleeing a Police Officer
If an individual flees a police officer while in a motor vehicle or attempts to flee when the officer is acting lawfully, the perpetrator is guilty of obstruction of justice. They are interfering with the law being executed and this interference is a crime.
A person who escapes after being lawfully arrested, allows someone to escape when they have been lawfully arrested, escapes while under security in a hospital, escapes while on provisional discharge or when they have a pass, transfers an arrested person to another with the intent of escape, or any other act that results in the escape of a person who is lawfully in custody is guilty of obstruction of justice in Minnesota. This is also called “criminal escape” and is a serious crime.
Witnesses are useful in criminal trials or other trials when they must recall what it is they saw when a crime was committed. Any time that an individual threatens a witness in order to make them lie under oath, this is considered witness tampering. Under Minnesota state law, witness tampering is a form of obstruction of justice.
Interfering with a Dead Body
The scene of a death is considered a crime scene until proven otherwise. If an individual is caught interfering with the dead body, which consists of touching the body in any way or removing evidence from the body, this is considered interfering with a dead body. This interference can severely compromise a Minnesota criminal investigation. Interfering with a dead body in Minnesota may also consist of acts that are meant to mislead the coroner.
Warning a Subject under Investigation
If a person knows someone who is being investigated by the police and they warn that person that they are being investigated, this is obstruction. The point of an investigation is for the person being investigated to not know so that they can be caught in a guilty act. Even if the person being investigated knows about the investigation and details regarding the investigation are revealed to that party that should not be, that is also considered Minnesota obstruction of justice.
Any time that someone has been accused of obstruction of justice, it is important to employ the services of a Minnesota criminal defense attorney to gather evidence and either have the charges dismissed or reduced. This is a serious crime that can yield serious penalties that are based upon what the judge feels is appropriate.