Tips to avoid obstruction charges in your federal case
Obstruction of justice charges are a common inclusion in many federal prosecutions. It might surprise you to see some of the ways that you could face these serious accusations.
There are a few things you should keep in mind to protect yourself from potential obstruction charges.
Do not discuss the case with others
A particularly aggressive prosecutor could claim obstruction if you discuss the details of the case with friends and family members. This includes posting information online on social media or message boards. They might claim that you are trying to coordinate testimony or silence witnesses by speaking out.
Do not encourage others to withhold information
Asking others not to provide information to investigators or suggesting they invoke their Fifth Amendment rights could constitute obstruction. These types of actions may appear as witness tampering, which could lead to serious additional charges.
Do not hide your assets
Your first reaction when facing federal charges might be to protect your assets. If you try to hide or move them, especially when facing charges for financial crimes, prosecutors might allege obstruction.
As you can see, obstructing a federal investigation is easier to do than you may think. With 73,256 defendants processed in the federal justice system in 2020, you should understand the volume of cases filed, recognize the risk of obstruction charges and take steps to protect yourself. Be careful discussing your case at all before the legal process concludes. Limit what you say online as well. Avoid asking others to withhold information or change their testimony, and do not transfer or conceal any assets.