The 5 Essential Elements for Obstructing Justice Under Ohio Law

Recently, the Eighth District Ohio Court of Appeals reaffirmed long standing precedent in regard to the criminal offense of Obstructing Official Business as contained in Ohio Revised Code Section 2921.31.  The court acknowledged that historically it required evidence reflecting “affirmative acts, not oral statements or inaction, which hamper or impede a public official in the performance of lawful duties.”  The court further stated that even if there were such an affirmative act, the State still must prove not only that the act was committed with an intent to obstruct the officers, but also that the defendant succeeded in actually hampering or impeding them.  See State of Ohio v. Douglas M. Morris, 2016-Ohio-8325 (decided 12/22/2016).

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