Obstruction of Justice (Utah Code 76-8-305.5) covers a broad area and occurs when someone makes an effort to prevent the execution of a lawful process or the administration of justice in either a criminal or civil matter. Obstruction of Justice can entail such actions as:
Intimidating Potential Witnesses,
Retaliating Against Actual Witnesses,
Preparing False Testimony Or False Evidence,
Interfering With Jurors And Other Court Personnel.
There are criminal obstruction statutes in place to help protect the integrity of legal proceedings and to protect individuals participating in criminal proceedings. Additionally, a person that gives false testimony in court can be charged with perjury, as well as obstruction of justice.
In order to be charged with obstruction of justice, law enforcement must believe or have strong evidence that you influenced or attempted to influence a proceeding or an investigation in some manner. Therefore, being charged with obstruction of justice is a very serious matter!
Additionally, if your charges result in a conviction you can end up in jail for a term of up to ten years, depending upon the obstruction committed. There can also be severe fines, community service, probation and a misdemeanor or felony charge on your criminal record.