Garrity Traina: Your Trusted Defense Lawyers in Tarrant County and Beyond
When individuals find themselves in the midst of an arrest, their lives are instantly thrown into chaos. In some cases, the turmoil may push them toward seeking revenge or obstructing the legal process. They might resort to harming or issuing threats to those who reported the crime, the witnesses, informants, or even the law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or judges involved in their case. Under Texas law, such actions are known as obstruction or retaliation, and they carry severe consequences.
The Importance of Legal Representation in Fort Worth and Tarrant County
Accusations of obstruction or retaliation are treated with utmost seriousness by law enforcement and prosecutors. If you or a loved one is facing charges of retaliation or obstruction in Fort Worth or Tarrant County, it is imperative to seek immediate assistance from an experienced defense attorney. These charges can result in imprisonment, and prosecutors will stop at nothing to ensure your conviction. At Garrity Traina, our team of former prosecutors and board-certified attorneys have the expertise necessary to handle cases of retaliation and obstruction. We tirelessly fight to protect your freedom.
Understanding the Concept of Obstruction or Retaliation in Texas
The definition of obstruction or retaliation, as outlined in Section 36.06 of the Texas Penal Code, is relatively straightforward. The statute now also includes the offense known as “doxxing,” which involves the public posting of personal information belonging to a public servant.
- Retaliation: This occurs when an individual intentionally or knowingly harms or threatens harm to another person as a response to their service or status as a public servant, witness, potential witness, informant, or someone who reported a crime or intends to do so.
- Obstruction: This takes place when an individual intentionally or knowingly harms or threatens harm to another person in order to prevent or delay their service as a public servant, witness, potential witness, informant, or someone who reported or intends to report a crime.
- “Doxxing”: The statute now covers retaliation through the public disclosure of a public servant’s home address, phone number, or any information pertaining to their family members.
Differentiating Between Obstruction and Retaliation
It is crucial to distinguish between obstruction and retaliation. Obstruction occurs prior to an event, such as a court hearing or trial. For example, it involves threatening a witness to prevent them from testifying against you during the trial. On the other hand, retaliation occurs after the fact, often as a response to an arrest. An example of retaliation would be issuing threats to the police officer who apprehended you.
The Punishment for Obstruction or Retaliation
An obstruction or retaliation charge is considered a third-degree felony, carrying a potential prison sentence of 2 to 10 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. However, if the charge is classified as aggravated, it becomes a second-degree felony, leading to a prison sentence of 2 to 20 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. Aggravated obstruction or retaliation includes actions such as threatening to harm a juror or causing bodily injury to a public servant or a member of their family or household.
Defining a Public Servant in Texas
In the state of Texas, a public servant is someone who is elected, selected, appointed, or employed as:
- Government employees
- Police officers
- Jurors or grand jurors
- Attorneys or notary publics performing government functions
- Candidates for public office
- Individuals performing government functions under a claim of right, even if not legally qualified to do so
Real-Life Examples of Obstruction or Retaliation Charges in Texas
Here are a few instances that illustrate situations in which individuals faced charges of obstruction or retaliation:
- A man from Corpus Christi found himself charged with retaliation after sending threatening text messages to a judge, demanding the removal of warrants against him. He even went as far as threatening a knife attack on the arresting officer.
- In La Joya, three men were arrested for threatening a Border Patrol agent during a stop. One of the men hinted that he had a firearm in his vehicle.
- In Hearne, a man faced obstruction or retaliation charges for threatening to blow up the Brazos County Courthouse if his children were taken away from him.
- A man from Hopkins County was indicted on obstruction or retaliation charges for threatening to kill his father, who reported him to the police, during a phone call from the jail.
- In Texarkana, a man was arrested for threatening witnesses involved in his brother’s criminal case through phone calls and text messages.
Facing Obstruction or Retaliation Charges in Fort Worth? We’re Here to Help.
If you find yourself charged with obstruction or retaliation in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, or the surrounding area, it is crucial to secure the services of an experienced attorney who is well-versed in handling such cases. Government agencies take these charges very seriously, and they will do everything in their power to build a case against you. At Garrity Traina, our team consists of former prosecutors who have transitioned into highly-regarded defense attorneys. Our knowledge of both sides of the legal process allows us to anticipate the moves of the opposing counsel and stay one step ahead. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for the defense you need during this challenging time.