What Is a Contempt of Court?
If a court makes an order, then it is expected that the person the order is directed at will follow the order. Any action by someone that is meant to disregard a court, its orders, or its ability to administrate justice can be considered contempt of court. If someone misbehaves in court and causes a disturbance or any obstruction to the ability of the court to operate, then that person can be charged with contempt of court.
Both state and federal courts have contempt of court statutes to ensure the safe and efficient administration of justice. If the alleged contempt took place in a state court, then the person who is alleged to have committed the act will be tried in state court. If the alleged contempt took place in a federal court, then the person who is alleged to have committed the act will be tried in federal court. If you are facing federal criminal charges, then it is important to speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Federal Contempt of Court?
The penalties for federal contempt of court can result in up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If the alleged contempt involves a violation of privacy protection under 18 USC 3509, then the person alleged to have committed the violation can face up to one year in jail. The punishment for these charges can vary depending on the facts and circumstances.
What Are the Types of Contempt of Court?
Contempt of court can take on many forms. Federal contempt of court laws can be found within 18 USC 402. Some common examples of the types of contempt include:
- Failing to appear for court
- Disobeying a court order prohibiting contact with someone else
- Making a disturbance in court that prevents the court from operating normally
- Refusing to offer testimony in a hearing where testimony is required
These are just some examples of activity that is deemed contempt of court under both state and federal laws. For a case to be charged federally, it must meet federal criminal guidelines. The federal court must have jurisdiction over the matter to have any power over the defendant and their alleged actions. If the case does not meet federal guidelines, then it can be charged and prosecuted under state law.
What Are Some Examples of Defenses to Contempt of Court?
There are a few different types of defenses that can be available for a computer crime charge. Some common examples of defenses to a computer crime include:
- Lack of intent of violating the court order or process
- It is impossible to comply with the court order or process
- Lack of knowledge regarding the court order or process
- False accusation of a violation of the court order or process
If you are facing contempt of court charges, then one of the above defenses might apply to your case. Your conduct relating to a court order or process can result in serious consequences, so it is important to understand how these defenses can potentially help you in your case. Each case has its own factors that can decide which defenses are best, so make sure that you have your case professionally reviewed by an experienced federal criminal defense attorney to determine your best defenses.
In What Court Will Your Case Be Heard?
All federal criminal cases are heard in federal District Courts across the country. In Pennsylvania, there are three federal District Courts. They are the central, middle, and eastern district courts. All federal cases in Pennsylvania are processed in these courts based on location. If your case arises in central or eastern Pennsylvania, then your criminal case will be heard in the middle district court or eastern district court, respectively.
If you lose your case in federal district court within the state of Pennsylvania, then you can file an appeal. This appeal must go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The only remaining higher court is the United States Supreme Court. Cases are only heard in the Supreme Court if the Court agrees to hear the case. There is no automatic right to be heard in the United States Supreme Court for any case. An experienced attorney can help you comprehend relevant court rules and what must be done to defend you.
How Hiring an Experienced Attorney Can Help
If you are facing criminal charges, then make sure that you have experienced counsel. If you are charged with a crime, then an attorney can help you understand the charges and the evidence against you. This information is important so you can build a defense. Experienced counsel can also help you determine if it is best to go to trial or work out a resolution.
If you want to resolve your case, then your attorney can help you negotiate a plea deal. They will also give you their opinion on whether or not you should take that deal. Before deciding on what to do, make sure that you understand everything about your case and what could happen if you are convicted. If you have legal questions, then contact us at The Lento Law Firm today!
Why Hiring Lento Law Is the Right Choice
If you are being investigated or prosecuted federally for contempt of court, then it is important to speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney right away. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped people defend countless criminal charges in several jurisdictions. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring Lento Law is the right choice to help defend your federal case.