If you were charged with criminal contempt of court during your legal proceeding, you must know you know the penalties you may be facing and your rights to fight them off. Read on to learn more about the impact of this charge and how a seasoned Kaufman County, Texas criminal defense lawyer at Harrell & Paulson, LLP can stand by your side.
How does the state of Texas define a criminal contempt of court charge?
If you were charged with criminal contempt of court, it likely means that you conducted yourself in a way that defied or otherwise disrespected the authority of the Texas court, which ultimately hurt their ability to properly administer justice. The Texas court may charge you with this in an attempt to deter you from future acts of contempt.
If you receive this charge, you will likely receive penalties regardless of the outcome of the underlying proceeding. And, if you are incarcerated due to this offense, you cannot negotiate your release, even if you are willing to comply with the Texas court.
What is the difference between direct criminal contempt and indirect criminal contempt?
A Texas judge may charge you with direct contempt if your poor behavior occurred in the presence of the court and ultimately interrupted the proceeding. For example, if you shouted profanities at the judge during your hearing.
On the other hand, a Texas judge may charge you with indirect contempt if your offense occurred outside the immediate presence of the court. For example, if you inappropriately communicated with the jurors or you refused to provide subpoenaed evidence. Notably, this will require the Texas court to rely on the testimony of third parties for proof of the offense.
What should I do if I receive a criminal contempt of court charge?
The severity of the penalties will depend on the severity of your behavior. But unfortunately, the result of criminal contempt of court charge will likely be jail time and/or a fine. And as such, incarceration will begin immediately after, or even before, the charge is adjudicated and the sentence is decided.
Therefore, you must be made aware that you maintain the same constitutional rights as a criminal defendant. For example, you hold the right to counsel, the right to put on a defense, and the right to a jury trial. Additionally, this charge against you must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you require assistance in fighting the charges placed against you, do not hesitate in consulting with one of the competent Kaufman, Texas lawyers today. We will work on your behalf to reduce or altogether eliminate the jail time and/or fines placed against you.
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For vigorous defenses for personal injury, criminal, divorce, or estate planning matters, contact Harrell & Paulson, LLP today to schedule your free case evaluation.