Obstructing the Administration of Law Defense Attorneys

Posted By user, Uncategorized On October 19, 2020

While obstructing the administration of law is far from being the most common assault related charge in Hunterdon County, many of them are filed every year. For these charges, the busiest municipalities are Flemington, Clinton, Readington and Raritan Township. If you have been arrested or you got served with a complaint for violating the “Obstructing administration of law or other governmental function” statute (N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1), then consulting an experienced attorney is certainly wise.

Being Charged With Obstructing the Administration of Law in Hunterdon County, NJ

Obstructing the administration of law or government function can lead to either a disorderly persons offense or fourth degree crime pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1. If the conduct in question involves obstruction of an investigation, arrest or detection of an indictable crime (that is, one that is first, second, third or fourth degree), then the violation itself is fourth degree. In other situations, obstructing is a disorderly persons offense.

A person engages in obstruction if he/she:

purposely obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from lawfully carrying out an official function by means of flight, intimidation, force, violence, or physical interference or obstacle, or by means of any independently unlawful act. If failure to perform a legal duty involved something other than an official duty, or any other means of avoiding compliance with law without affirmative interference with governmental functions, then this section doesn’t apply.


There are some key details to keep in mind in the language of this section. First, the efforts to obstruct have to be purposeful.  This means that the actor had a conscious object to prevent, impair or pervert an investigation, arrest or public function when he or she engaged in the violating conduct.

The other key point is that no New Jersey obstruction offense has happened unless the accused engaged in flight, intimidation, force, violence, physical interference, obstacle; or any independently unlawful behavior in order to prevent or attempt to prevent the efforts of a police officer or other official to perform his/her lawful functions. Note also that verbal abuse does not trigger an obstructing the administration of law offense in Bethlehem, Lebanon, Union Township or another Hunterdon County municipality.

Possible Penalties for Obstructing the Administration of Law

Penalties for a conviction on obstructing depend on whether the charge results in a fourth degree crime or a disorderly persons offense.

The penalties that can be imposed in municipal court and the Hunterdon County Superior Court at the time of sentencing are:


  • Up to $1,000 in fines for a Disorderly Persons Offense or up to $10,000 for a crime in the Fourth Degree
  • The Violent Crimes Compensation Assessment: $50.00
  • The Safe Neighborhood Fund Assessment: $75.00
  • $33.00 in Court Costs
  • A sentence of up to six months for a Disorderly Persons Offense and eighteen months for a Fourth Degree in county jail
  • A probation term
  • Revocation of driving privileges


Reach out to Spodek Law Group For Immediate Help with a Obstructing The Administration of Law Charge

Any indictable obstruction charges of the fourth degree are heard at the county courthouse in Flemington. Also, the municipal court in the town hears a goodly number of disorderly persons cases under 2C:29-1. These factors combine to set this jurisdiction at the top of the annual totals for obstructing the administration of law. You can call our offices to speak to an attorney for your free consultation.