WA Legal Roundup: Division II
State v. Williams
Williams was convicted for obstructing an office when he gave false identifying information and made false statements. Williams appeals his conviction and argues that the RCW dealing with obstruction applies only to obstructive conduct and not speech. He also argues that his counsel was ineffective for not arguing the same at trial.
The court analyzed the statute which states that obstruction occurs when one, “willfully hinders, delays, or obstructs any law enforcement office in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties.” The court further defines hinder, delay, and obstruct using Webster’s dictionary. The court held that, by the plain language and ordinary meaning of the statute, the statute does not treat conduct and speech differently and therefore, affirms Williams’ conviction.