What are the Consequences of a Criminal Contempt of Court Charge in New York State?



    When charged with criminal contempt of court, you will likely receive penalties that are separate and added on to those you will receive from your underlying legal proceeding. This is not a good situation to be in, which is why you must understand your rights so to make a proper defense. Follow along to learn how one of the proficient Nassau County criminal defense attorneys at Grunwald & Seman, P.C. can help to reduce or altogether eliminate the penalties for your criminal contempt charge.

    How does New York state define a criminal contempt of court charge?

    A New York judge will deem it necessary to charge you with criminal contempt of court if you conduct yourself in a matter that defied and/or disrespected the authority of the New York court, and such behavior inhibited their ability to properly administer justice in your underlying legal proceeding. Put simply, this charge is an attempt to deter you from any future acts of contempt in the proceedings to come.

    Of note, if you are sentenced to incarceration during your underlying proceeding, you cannot negotiate your release, even if you promise to comply with the New York court. And, even if your underlying proceeding has a positive outcome, you will still be punished for this charge.

    Direct criminal contempt vs. indirect criminal contempt. What is the difference?

    If you were charged with direct criminal contempt, that means that you displayed interrupting behavior in the presence of the court, such as if you shouted profanities at the judge during your hearing.

    Contrastingly, if you were charged with indirect criminal contempt, that means that you displayed inappropriate behavior outside of the immediate presence of the court, such as if you refused to provide subpoenaed evidence. With this conviction, the New York court will need to rely on the testimony of third parties.

    What should I do if I receive a criminal contempt of court charge?

    As with most offenses, the severity of the penalties placed against you will depend on the severity of your behavior. But the likely result of being charged with criminal contempt of court will be jail time and/or a fine. With this charge, you hold the same constitutional rights as a criminal defendant, which include the following:

    • The right to counsel.
    • The right to put on a defense.
    • The right to a jury trial.
    • Your offense must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt before you are sentenced.

    To help protect your rights, you will be in the best position with the assistance of one of the talented Garden City criminal defense lawyers. Contact our team to schedule your initial consultation today.

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    If you need experienced legal counsel for a criminal matter on Long Island or anywhere inNew York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation.

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