Obstructing Governmental Administration

Often times charged along with or in lieu of Resisting Arrest (New York Penal Law 205.30), Obstruction of Governmental Administration in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law 195.05) is a distinct crime with its own elements. An "A" misdemeanor, Obstruction of Governmental Administration is punishable by up to a year in jail. For defendants arrested in New York City (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island), this sentence will be served on the infamous Rikers Island.

Generally, If you impair or obstruct the administration of law or prevent a public servant (often a police officer) from performing his or her official duty and function, then you have committed this crime. However, the other crucial element is that this intentional obstruction be done through intimidation, interference, physical force or an independently unlawful act.

An easy way to visualize a violation of Obstructing Governmental Administration while also contrasting it with Resisting Arrest is as follows:

NY PL 195.05 - The police are attempting to arrest your friend. You intentionally stand in front of the police. You are advised to move, but you block the police from arresting your friend each time they try to get closer and arrest him.

NY PL 205.30- The police are attempting to arrest you. You refuse to put your hands behind your back to be handcuffed. You swing your arms and hold them tight against your body. Ultimately, force must be used to get you to comply.

The above hypotheticals are very vague and there are other elements that would be relevant (for example, is the arrest authorized?). Obviously, if you are charged with NY PL 195.05, you should consult with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney to not only minimize the criminal ramifications of your arrest, but the potential collateral ones to your career as well.

Call the New York criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today