A crime can either be a misdemeanor or a felony and in this regard, aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce is a felony. It is a felony because it is a more complex situation than simple obstruction of a highway of commerce which is a misdemeanor.
Now, what is the difference between the two? Let's state them clearly. By simple obstruction of a highway of commerce, it is the conscious or intentional criminal negligent placing of anything or performance of any kind on a railroad, railway, road, highway interface, airport runway, waterway or any other highway of commerce which will make movement on those places difficult. This is a misdemeanor and the penalty for such is usually a jail term of not more than six months or a fine of not more than two hundred dollars, or even both.
What Then Is Aggravated Obstruction Of A Highway Of Commerce?
The aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce is a serious offense and this is exactly why it is regarded as a felony. Its definition has been so stated in the Louisana Statutes in Section 14.96.
It is the intentional or conscious performance of any act or criminally negligent placing of anything or which serves as an obstruction to a railroad, railway, highway interface, navigable waterway, airport runway or any other highway of commerce which may be foreseeable to be a threat to human life.
Now, the difference between both is that human life might be under danger in the aggravated obstruction of a highway while in the simple obstruction, human life is not under threat. This is what makes them a felony and a misdemeanor respectively.
Aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce may lead to accidents and loss of lives if the obstructions are not quickly removed or looked into. If there's a license for it to be there from the state or law officials, then you might have no case but where it is unlicensed is where the problem begins.
Note that there is a difference between a private road and a highway of commerce. A private road is less crowded than a highway. This is because a highway of commerce aids the movement and transportation of people and goods from one place to another. These people are those who are with going on business trips, visits, commercial purposes and the rest of them. It is called a highway of commerce because the roads are usually busy.
Therefore, anything that will cause a barrier to the movement of these people and their goods is considered an offense, talk more of when their lives are under threat or in danger. That's a more serious offense. Anyone who is found doing that or even an accomplice to such dangerous obstruction will be charged with aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce.
What Can Make You Be Accused Of This Offense?
Usually, as a citizen of any state, you need to know that laws, rules, and regulations guiding that state. You have to know what counts as a crime and what does not. In this way, you will know things that are legal to so and things that are not. Also, what might be considered as a misdemeanor in one state can be regarded as a felony in another. This is why you need to be current.
Now, normally, it is a crime or an offense to obstruct a highway without a license. It could be using roadworks, advertising, building materials and any other thing which may be a barrier to road users.
The obstruction may tend to lead to an accident which is, of course, a threat to life and in this case, you will be accused of the offense. Also, discharging water onto a highway or blocking the road with dangerous building materials which may cause vehicles to skid off the road is an example of this offense.
Partaking in a highway robbery where people's lives are endangered could also be seen as an aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce. This one is a more serious offense because whilst you are been tried for highway robbery, you will also face a trial for an aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce.
You might also be carrying out construction on the road where big tractors are used. If care is not taken, the tractors can be a threat to life. In all, it all depends on what your state sees as an aggravated obstruction. For Louisiana State, as long as it is a threat to life, you will be charged.
Penalty For The Offense
In Louisiana, the penalty for an aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce is a jail term of not more than fifteen years with or without hard labor. There is not fine for this because human life is involved; just a jail term.
How To Go About Your Case
If you have been accused of an aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce in Baton Rouge, you need to reach out to a criminal defense attorney. Your Baton Rouge lawyer will let you know the severity of your crime and help you know how to go about it. It is important that you choose a professional lawyer for your case because such a lawyer will know the laws of that state and also know how the judgment is.
Carl Barkemeyer, Criminal Defense Attorney has helped a lot of clients all over Baton Rouge in this case and we can help you too. If you have been charged or you have a loved one that has been accused of an aggravated obstruction of a highway of commerce, then reaching out to us will be a very good decision.
We take all our clients through all the steps involved in their prosecution. We try as much as possible to reduce your charges if not get you acquitted and discharged.
We believe that there are approaches to this crime and we follow those approaches. Contact us today!
H. Taylor - Baton Rouge, Louisiana