Obstruction in Arizona

The state of Arizona has extensive laws defining obstruction. This is due to the wide variety of ways a person can commit this crime along with charges that range from petty misdemeanors to felonies.


 

Obstructing Governmental OperationsMisdemeanor 1 Charge

A person is obstructing governmental operations if, by using or threatening to use violence or physical force, such person knowingly obstructs:

  • The performance of a function by a public servant acting under their official authority.
  • The enforcement of the penal law or the preservation of the peace by a police officer acting under their official authority.

 

Refusing to Aid a Peace Officer-Misdemeanor 1 Charge

A person is committing ‘refusing to aid a peace officer’ if, upon a reasonable command by a person reasonably known to be a peace officer, such person knowingly refuses to aid such peace officer in:

  • Securing an arrest.
  • Preventing the commission by any offense.

A person who complies with this section by aiding a peace officer shall not be held liable to any person for damages resulting, provided such person acted reasonably under the circumstances known to him/her at the time.

A “peace officer” typically refers to an employee of the state, county, or a municipality. This might be a sheriff or other law enforcement whose duties include searches & seizures, arrests, preventing and detecting crime, and executing criminal and civil warrants.


 

Refusing to Assist in Fire Control-Misdemeanor 1 Charge

A person commits refusing to assist in fire control if:

  • Upon a reasonable command by a fireman, such person knowingly refuses to aid in extinguishing a fire or in protecting property at the scene of a fire.
  • Upon command by a fireman or peace officer, such person knowingly disobeys an order or regulation relating to the conduct of persons in the vicinity of a fire.

“Fireman” means any officer of the fire department, the state forester or his deputies, or any other person vested by law with the duty to extinguish fires.


 

Compounding-Class 3 Misdemeanor or Class 6 Felony

A person commits compounding if such person knowingly accepts or agrees to accept any financial benefit as consideration for:

  • Refraining from seeking prosecution of an offense.
  • Refraining from reporting to law enforcement authorities the commission or suspected commission of any offense or information relating to the offense.

Compounding is a class 6 felony if the crime compounded is a felony. If the crime compounded is not a felony, compounding is a class 3 misdemeanor in Arizona.


 

Impersonating a Public Servant-Misdemeanor 1 Charge

A person commits impersonating a public servant if:

  • Such person pretends to be a public servant and engages in any conduct with the intent to induce another to submit to his pretended official authority or to rely on his pretended official acts.

In this section, “public servant” includes a notary public.


 

Tampering with a Public RecordClass 6 Felony

A person commits ‘tampering with a public record’ if, with the intent to defraud or deceive such person knowingly:

  • Makes or completes a written instrument, knowing that it has been falsely made, which purports to be a public record, or alters or makes a false entry in a written instrument which is a public record.
  • Presents or uses a written instrument which is or purports to be a public record, knowing that it has been falsely made, with intent that it be taken as genuine.
  • Records, registers, files, or offers for recording, registering, or filing in a governmental office or agency a written statement which has been falsely made, contains a false statement, or false information.
  • Impairs the availability of any public record.
  • Refuses to deliver a public record in such person’s possession upon proper request of a public servant entitled to receive the record.

“Public record” means all official books, papers, written instruments, or records created, issued, received or kept by any governmental office or agency or required by law to be kept by others for the information of the government.


 

Obstructing Officer from Collecting Public MoneyClass 2 Misdemeanor

A person who knowingly obstructs or hinders a public officer from collecting revenue, taxes, or other money that the officer is authorized to collect by law.


 

Impersonating a Peace OfficerClass 6 or 4 Felony Charge

A person commits impersonating a peace officer if:

  • The person pretends to be a peace officer and engages in any conduct with the intent to induce another to submit to the person’s pretended authority or to rely on the person’s pretended acts.

Impersonating a peace officer is a class 6 felony, except that impersonating a peace officer during any of the following felonies is a class 4 felony:

  • Homicide: negligent, manslaughter, first-degree or second-degree murder
  • Assault: aggravated, sexual
  • Unlawfully administering intoxicating liquors, narcotic drugs, or dangerous drugs
  • Attack by a person’s vicious animal
  • Drive by shooting, discharging a firearm at a structure
  • Aggravated criminal damage
  • Theft: theft by extortion, theft of a credit card, or obtaining a credit card by fraudulent means
  • Misconduct involving weapons or explosives, depositing explosives
  • Procuring or placing persons in a house of prostitution
  • Dangerous crimes against children
  • Burglary
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping
  • Robbery

 

Refusing to Provide Truthful Name when Lawfully DetainedClass 2 Misdemeanor

It is unlawful for a person, after being advised that the person’s refusal to answer is unlawful, to refuse to state their true full name on request of a peace officer who has lawfully detained the person. A person detained under this section shall not be compelled to answer any other inquiry of a peace officer.


 

Obstructing a Highway or Other Public ThoroughfareClass 3 Misdemeanor

A person commits obstructing a highway or other public thoroughfare if, having no legal privilege to do so:

  • Recklessly interferes with the passage of any highway or public thoroughfare.
  • Creates an unreasonable inconvenience or hazard.

 

Securing the Proceeds of an Offense-Class 2 Misdemeanor or Class 6 Felony

A person commits securing the proceeds of an offense if, with intent to assist another in profiting or benefiting from the commission of an offense, such person aids another in securing the proceeds of the offense.

  • Securing the proceeds of an offense is a class 6 felony if the person assisted committed a felony.
  • Securing the proceeds of an offense is a class 2 misdemeanor if the person assisted committed a misdemeanor.

 

Obstructing Criminal Investigations or Prosecutions-Class 5 or 3 Felony

A person who knowingly attempts by means of:

  • Bribery
  • Misrepresentation
  • Intimidation
  • Force
  • Threats of force

to obstruct, delay, or prevent the testimony relating to a violation of any criminal statute to a peace officer, magistrate, prosecutor, or grand jury or, who retaliates on account of the giving any such information or testimony to a peace officer, magistrate, prosecutor, or grand jury.

How JacksonWhite Can Help You

The JacksonWhite criminal attorneys will be alongside you throughout the entirety of your case. JacksonWhite criminal defense lawyer, Jeremy Geigle and his team have successfully defended individuals with a variety of charges in Arizona. Rest assured knowing he will do his best to help you get through this difficult and stressful time.

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