Obstruction of Justice – impeding or hindering the administration of justice (i.e. tampering with evidence, witness, juror, or judge)

     This page is continued from Criminal Law Self-Help >>>> Types of Crimes and Corresponding Laws:


obstructing justice:

1. The criminal offense under the common law, and by the statutes of many jurisdictions, of obstructing the administration and due court of justice.  39 Am J1st Obst J § 1. [1]

1. The crime of impeding or hindering the administration of justice in any way.  EXAMPLES: intimidating a witness; bribing a juror.  See obstructing process.

obstructing process:

1. The crime of impeding or interfering with service of process.  EXAMPLE: deliberately misleading a process server with the respect to the whereabouts of a person she is attempting to serve or the location of property upon which she is attempting to levy. [2]

obstruction of justice:

1. Interference with the orderly administration of law and justice, as by giving false information to  or withholding evidence from a police officer or prosecutor, or by harming or intimidating a witness or juror.  *  Obstruction of justice is a crime in most jurisdictions.  — aka obstructing justice; obstructing public justice. [3]

     Excerpt from Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce’s Criminal Law (3d ed. 1982):

     “The goal, — to proscribe every willful act of corruption, intimidation or force which tends in any way to distort or impede the administration of law either civil or criminal — has been very largely attained, partly by aid of legislation.  And any punishable misdeed of such a nature which is not recognized as a distinct crime, is usually called ‘obstruction of justice,’ or ‘obstructing justice,’ — a common-law misdemeanor.[4]

perverting the course of justice:

1. English law. The skewing of the disposition of legal proceedings, as by fabricating or destroying evidence, witness-tampering, or threatening or intimidating a judge.  — aka interfering with the administration of justice; obstructing the administration of justice; obstructing the course of justice; obstructing justice; obstructing public justice; defeating the due course of justice; defeating the ends of justice; attempting to pervert the course of justice. [3]

Also see Obstructions of Justice Associated with Jury Trials


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[1]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[2]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[3]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[4]: Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce, Criminal Law 552 (3d ed. 1982)


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