I was recently arrested for obstructing a police officer in Madison WI. What is the best thing to do at my court date?

Asked over 5 years ago - Madison, WI

I was told not to talk anymore along with another person I was with. He continued, so I continued, and I was arrested because I was interfering with an investigating that all started when a friend of mine accidentally knocked a parked motorcycle over. The officers just heard it happen and ran after us after we put it back up and walked away. At no time was I hostile, I just asked several questions out of frustration, especially after the officers seemed to retaliate by sending the one guy who never said a word to detox. The officer released me after about 30 minutes and then contacted me the following night at 1030 PM and he said he was going to be issuing me a citation for interfering with his investigation. I would like to get this off my record! I have no prior offenses.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Christopher L. Strohbehn

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . The first thing to do is determine whether you are being charged criminally for obstructing or whether you were issued a municipal or county ordinance citation. I would then suggest you contact and retain legal representation to discuss your options and handle your case.

    I would suggest, for a number of reasons, the last thing you want to do is go to court to negotiate a matter such as this on your own. If it was a speeding ticket or a minor traffic matter it would be a different story. Here you are dealing with a situation where you are alleged to have been causing difficulty and/arguing with a cop. The prosecutor isn't going to want to argue with you personally about what actually happened when you are trying to explain it or about your record. That is why sometimes its best as a part of the negotiation process to put in an adovcoate neutral to the emotions of the situation (here the lawyer you hire) to discuss it with the prosecutor. He/she will be able to take a step back (which you may not be) to discuss not only the event that happened but what your ultimate goal is (having a clear record).

    I wish you luck.

    Please be advised, this answer does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship. No attorney-client relationshp has been created by my response to this question.

  2. Howard Woodley Bailey

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . First, stop talking to the police, or back to the police. Anything you say can be used against you. This includes not only your words, but also your actions, tone and demeanor. Second, discuss this with a local attorney who has experience with criminal defense. This is essential, as the direct sentencing consequences (jail, fine, etc.) are only the beginning of the impact this can have on you. The collateral consequences can be a conviction you cannot get off your record until you meet all of the requirements for an expungement or sealing. Unless you know those consequences as you read this response, you need to talk to a lawyer BEFORE you go to Court. Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER
    This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship; or, constitute either legal advice or attorney advertising. Rather, given the nature of this forum, it is offered solely for information purposes, as a starting point for you to use when speaking directly to a lawyer in your State. Do not assume that the legal conclusions I mention that pertain to NJ are applicable in your State. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical for you to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State before making any decisions about your case.

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