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Criminal Contempt

The court has options of sanctioning those who are disrespectful or disobedient of the court and its officers. Such offense is called criminal contempt and is chargeable in two degrees as well aggravated criminal contempt. These offenses range from being class A misdemeanors to class D felonies and should not be taken lightly. Call now for a free consultation with one of our experienced New York criminal attorneys.

Criminal contempt in the second degree includes seven different listings of conduct that are included in what can be charged for the offense resulting in a class A misdemeanor. These types of conduct include:

  • Insolent or disorderly behavior that is committed during court proceedings, in immediate view of the proceedings and is to interrupt proceedings or affect the respect due to authority
  • If there is a disturbance or breach of the peace that is directly intended to interrupt the court
  • Resistance or intentional disobedience to the process of the court
  • If they are supposed to be sworn in as a witness and unlawfully refuse to be sworn in or after being sworn in refuse to answer legal and proper questions
  • Publishing false information or an inaccurate report of court proceedings
  • Intentionally not obeying court mandates, processes or notices
  • If a person is on a public street or sidewalk within 200 feet of an established courthouse and displays signs or publicly announces information detailing the trial information of an ongoing trial
  • Criminal contempt in the first degree includes ten different instances of conduct that are charged as a class E felony.
  • Refusing to be sworn in or answer questions as a grand jury witness
  • Violating an order of protection when the defendant was in court when the order was issued
    • if they intentionally place a person who they are ordered to stay away from in reasonable fear of serious injury or death
    • repeatedly following such a person
    • communicating with such s person by form of written communication of phone
    • intending to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm such person by making repeated communication attempts
    • intending to harass, annoy, threaten or such person by physical movement
    • physically menacing such a person
  • committing the offense of criminal contempt in the second degree within the previous five years
  • violating an order of protection by recklessly damaging the property of the person named in the order.

Additionally, aggravated criminal contempt is a class D felony and applies when a person has committed criminal contempt in the first degree within the previous five years, have been previously convicted of aggravated criminal contempt, or if they are in violation of an order of protection for having caused serious physical injury to the person whose protection was ordered.

Any degree of criminal contempt is a serious offense and should be handled correctly. A conviction on these charges could result in time behind bars so call now for a free consultation with one of our experienced New York criminal attorneys to discuss what options are available in handling your case.

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