Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
What Are the Penalties for Interfering with a Police Officer?

What Are the Penalties for Interfering with a Police Officer?

Because your adrenaline might be up during an encounter with a police officer, you might not be able to accurately process the situation. Thus, when the officer asks you questions or approaches you, you may behave in ways that are outside of your normal character. For instance, you might give false information about an alleged crime or you might forcibly resist being arrested. But doing such may be considered interfering with an officer.

Interfering with an officer is unlawful. Kansas law defines several circumstances in which such interference can occur. Although many instances of this type of conduct are class A nonperson misdemeanors, some are felonies.

Falsely Reporting a Crime

You can be charged with interfering with a law enforcement officer by providing false information about a crime. For instance, if you say that you saw Johnny stealing a computer from a nearby home, even though you know that's untrue, you're committing an offense.

But saying that another person committed a crime is just one way that could result in your facing criminal charges.

You may also be accused if you knowingly:

  • Report falsely that a law enforcement officer committed a crime;
  • Give false information about an offense to a law enforcement agency to affect its processing of the incident; or
  • Provide incorrect information about the death or disappearance of a person under 13 years of age.

As mentioned before, most incidents of interference with a law enforcement agency or officer are class A nonperson misdemeanors. And generally, that's true for the offenses listed above. In Kansas, class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in jail.

In certain circumstances, any of the conduct listed above can be charged as felonies. This occurs when the offense you falsely reported was a felony itself.

Knowingly providing incorrect information about another person or an officer committing a crime may be charged as severity level 8, nonperson felony, penalized by up to 11 months in prison. However, giving false information about an incident to obstruct, impede, or influence the case is a severity level 9, nonperson felony. A conviction can result in imprisonment for a maximum of 9 months.

Lastly, giving false information about the whereabouts or health of a missing child is always charged as a severity level 8, nonperson felony.

Concealing Evidence

Another way an interfering charge can be brought against you is if you destroy or conceal evidence to prevent the arrest or prosecution of anyone. For instance, suppose you saw your friend steal a $2,000 computer. Because you know they're a good person who has fallen on hard times, you don't want to see them get in trouble for the offense. Therefore, you help destroy surveillance footage of the incident.

In this instance, you could be charged with a class A nonperson misdemeanor, or a severity level 8, nonperson felony.

Resisting Arrest

You may also be charged with interfering with a law enforcement officer if you try to resist being apprehended by them or obstruct them in any way while they're performing their lawful duties.

If the offense you were resisting or obstructing was a misdemeanor, you could be charged with a class A nonperson misdemeanor. However, if it was a felony, you'd be accused of a severity level 9, nonperson felony.

If you're facing charges in Kansas City, contact Stein Law, LLC at (913) 583-0465 to discuss your case.

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