Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 31: Obstruction Offenses in Illinois

It is a priority of law enforcement to prevent individual citizens from getting in the way of justice. For this reason, Illinois legislators have criminalized several behaviors that obstruct law enforcements ability to do its job. Three crimes are discussed in this portion of Article 31 of the Illinois Criminal Code: obstructing service of process, obstructing justice, and obstructing identification.

The first, obstructing service of process, refers to a situation in which someone knowingly inhibits any civil or criminal process in a court. A conviction of this crime carries a Class B misdemeanor status. Along a similar vein, a person obstructs justice when, with the intent interfere in the prosecution or defense of an individual, he or she engages in any acts that hamper the courts ability to conduct its duties. Several examples of this offense include planting false evidence, withholding information material to the case, or convincing a witness not to testify. Obstructing justice is a Class 4 felony.

Lastly, a person commits obstruction of identification when he or she provides a false name or false address to a police officer after having been arrested or detained. This offense qualifies as a Class A misdemeanor. In all of these circumstances, the offenses are murky or difficult to investigate; an experienced criminal defense attorney is imperative to secure a Not Guilty verdict.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been arrested for obstruction in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 31 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 31

Sec. 31-3. Obstructing service of process.
    (720 ILCS 5/31-3)

Whoever knowingly resists or obstructs the authorized service or execution of any civil or criminal process or order of any court commits a Class B misdemeanor. (Source: P. A. 77-2638.)

Sec. 31-4. Obstructing justice.
    (720 ILCS 5/31-4)

A person obstructs justice when, with intent to prevent the apprehension or obstruct the prosecution or defense of any person, he knowingly commits any of the following acts:

(a) Destroys, alters, conceals or disguises physical evidence, plants false evidence, furnishes false information; or

(b) Induces a witness having knowledge material to the subject at issue to leave the State or conceal himself; or

(c) Possessing knowledge material to the subject at issue, he leaves the State or conceals himself.

(d) Sentence.

(1) Obstructing justice is a Class 4 felony, except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection (d).

(2) Obstructing justice in furtherance of streetgang related or gang-related activity, as defined in Section 10 of the Illinois Streetgang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act, is a Class 3 felony. (Source: P.A. 90-363, eff. 1-1-98.)

Sec. 31-4.5. Obstructing identification.
    (720 ILCS 5/31-4.5)

(a) A person commits the offense of obstructing identification when he or she intentionally or knowingly furnishes a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has: (1) lawfully arrested the person; (2) lawfully detained the person; or (3) requested the information from a person that the peace officer has good cause to believe is a witness to a criminal offense.

(b) Sentence. Obstructing identification is a Class A misdemeanor. (Source: P.A. 96-335, eff. 1-1-10.)

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DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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