Denver Interference with a Police Officer Lawyer | Can A Lack of Information Lead to Interference Charges?
A recent new story out of Denver is making national headlines as a group of disability advocates were arrested after refusing to leave Senator Cory Gardner’s office in protest. Ten people were cited under the Denver Municipal Code for Trespassing after refusing to leave, and a few had added charges like Resistance and Interference with a Police Officer. One woman’s charge for Interference seemed quite absurd, as she was charged for not giving Denver Police information about how to operate her specialized wheelchair. Seriously? How is it a crime to not tell an officer how to more easily take you into custody?
Interference or Obstructing a Police Officer charges?
Denver General Session Interference with Police Attorney: What is the Definition of this Municipal Charge?
According to Sec. 38-31 of the Denver Municipal Code – Interference with Police Authority is defined as:
“(a) It shall be unlawful for any person, in any way, to interfere with or hinder any police officer, any member of the police department, or any person duly empowered with police authority, while such officer, member, or person duly empowered with police authority is discharging or apparently discharging their duties.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person, in any way, to interfere with or hinder any deputy sheriff, prison steward or deputy warden while any such officials are discharging or apparently discharging their duties.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to obey a lawful order of a police officer if such failure interferes with or hinders such police officer in the discharge of his official duties. It is an affirmative defense to this subsection that the failure to obey did not interfere with or hinder the police officers.”
Most likely the woman was charged for hindering the Denver police officers’ abilities to do their job and take everyone into custody, but it’s a real stretch if you ask me.
Denver County Obstructing a Peace Officer: The State’s Version of This Interfering Charge
While this case is being held in Denver Municipal (or General Sessions) Court, the State of Colorado has a similar charge – Obstructing a Police Officer. In order to be charged with Obstruction in Denver County, the person must use physical force, or threaten physical force against a police officer while they are trying to do their job.
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