Alberta Legal | Criminal Defence Lawyers

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Criminal Defence Lawyers

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Obstruction and Resisting Arrest Charges Withdrawn

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One of our criminal lawyers Calgary, Jillian Williamson recently fought the law, but she won. Ms. Williamson’s client was charged with resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer. Her client had been at a bar when a fight broke out. The police arrived ready to arrest on site. Her client ran from the scene. Eventually, the police found her client and charged him with resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer. The police officer stated that he yelled, “stop police.” Her client maintained he never heard any officer or saw any officer. He ran because of the large number of people and the fight. He asserted he never obstructed or resisted the police.

In order for a court to find an accused guilty under section 129 of the Criminal Code, the prosecutor must prove the following:.

-  That the peace officer was in the execution of his duty;
-  The accused knew the complainant was a peace officer (could see his/her uniform/utterance of a peace officer);
-  The accused resisted or willfully obstructed the peace officer;
-  The obstruction was willful; and
-  The peace officer was engaged in lawful duty at all relevant times.

Proving obstruction requires a high level of intent or mens rea. This means the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused saw and heard the officer in the course of his or her duty yet actively and willfully obstructed the officer. The obstruction must prevent the officer from conducting his or her lawful purpose.

Jillian met with her client, obtained his version of events and determined the best course of action was to proceed to trial. Despite several offers coming from the prosecutor to plead guilty, they stayed the course. After an immense amount of preparation and intense work completed by Jillian, the prosecutor withdrew all charges.

This case demonstrates the need for diligent legal work. Strategic decisions were made that led to this excellent outcome for her client. He no longer faces a criminal conviction or jail. He is free to obtain new and more lucrative jobs and faces no issues with travelling.

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