22nd Aug 2017
A criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale may be retained to help a defendant who is facing contempt of court charges. If convicted, a person may be jailed for failing to follow a court order. Some of the important issues that a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale may explain to a potential client include:
What Contempt of Court Is
Contempt of court is refusing to obey a legal order or decree that has been issued by a judge and of which the defendant has been made aware. Common examples of contempt of court include failing to appear at a criminal court date when ordered to do so, failing to obey a condition of a bond agreement and failing to follow instructions in a divorce decree. In other situations, a contempt of court charge may be based on the defendant’s conduct in court toward the judge after the judge orders the defendant to cease certain behavior.
A person who is convicted of contempt of court faces a maximum penalty of up to one year in county jail. The defendant may also be ordered to pay a fine up to $500.
Types of Contempt
Florida recognizes different types of contempt. Direct contempt occurs when the judge saw or heard the acts of contempt. When this type of contempt occurs, the judge can recite the facts upon which contempt is being found. The defendant can attempt to put up a defense or explain his or her behavior.
The defendant can present evidence for his or her defense. The judge signs the judgment and reads the sentence. Indirect contempt occurs when the judge did not actually witness the contemptuous act. This requires the moving party to submit a motion to show cause and a hearing to be held to determine if the defendant is in contempt.