Contempt Of Court
What Is Contempt Of Court?
Most people will equate contempt of court to watching law and courtroom TV dramas. You probably picture a judge banging the gavel and yelling “order.” Then someone inevitably is put in contempt. Of course, life is nothing like what we see on television.
Contempt of court can either be civil contempt or criminal contempt. Contempt of court refers to the conduct of someone who disrespects, insults, or defies the authority of the court system or judge. The actions of those who show disrespect to the court system and defy the authority of the court system can be seen as a lack of control the court system has in administering justice.
Civil Contempt Vs. Criminal Contempt
A judge will use his/her discretion in determining whom they hold in contempt. Any person in a court proceeding can be held in contempt, such as:
- People attending the hearing
- Court personnel
- Officers and deputies
- And more…
Civil contempt usually comes from someone’s failure to comply with a judge’s court order. A judge will issue a civil contempt to compel a person to obey a court order. Civil contempt is just as bad as criminal contempt. You can still face jail time and fines for both civil and criminal contempt depending on the nature of the contempt from the proceeding.
Criminal contempt is a charge that is meant to correct and deter future contempt actions by punishing the person who committed the contempt no matter what happens during the original proceedings. Some can be incarcerated immediately for criminal contempt before the outcome is decided which will prohibit them from complying with the court until their sentence is completed.
Criminal contempt is also a separate charge from their original case. Criminal charges will stick around after the resolution of the original case, unlike civil contempt.
Difference Between Direct Contempt and Indirect Contempt
Direct Contempt happens in the courtroom. For example, if a person yells at a judge while in the middle of a court proceeding and hinders the judge’s ability to continue with the court proceeding and therefore disrespects the court, then that person has committed direct contempt.
Indirect contempt happens outside of the courtroom. Several examples of indirect contempt are:
- Failure to provide subpoenaed evidence
- Failure to follow a court-ordered judgment
- Refusal to pay child support
- Talking to Jurors outside of the courtroom while in the middle of a hearing
- And more…
How The Flores Law Group Is Able To Help You?
A way to reduce the risk of a contempt of court charge is to seek the guidance of a criminal contempt lawyer. Your attorney can guide you through staying in compliance with court orders and help you with any contempt of court charge you have been given.
With Edward Flores’ over 10 years of experience in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, his knowledge and familiarity put him one step ahead in the game. So, if you ever find yourself needing a civil contempt lawyer or a criminal contempt attorney, look no further than The Flores Law Group in Tustin, California.