Have you ever wondered what contempt of court is and what happens when you or a loved one is found guilty? Contempt of court is when someone is disrespectful to the authority of the court. This may sound random, but there are specific factors that must be in place prior to someone being found guilty of such a crime. Keep in mind, you do have to be found guilty of contempt of court. A judge is not able to exercise this authority just because, contrary to popular belief.
Actions That Will Likely Find You in Contempt
- You do not obey a lawful order of the court. This is the most common action that will put you in contempt.
- You do not show respect for the judge. This action is less common.
- You interrupt the proceedings by openly disobeying or disrespecting the judge, such as giving the judge the bird.
- You publish material when you are told not to or when you decide not to provide said material when ordered to do so. Generally, contempt of court applies here when it delays the ability to carry out a fair trial.
Options When Found Guilty
When a Texas judge holds you in contempt of court and you are found guilty, you will face one of two consequences: a fine or jail. If you decide not to pay the fine, then it is a possibility that you will be held in further contempt, which would increase the gravity of the punishment.
Overall, you will not win this battle. Luckily, contempt of court charges does not happen very often. However, if you do find yourself on the wrong end of it, you have options to choose from.
- Pay the fine.
Since the main objective is to move the court proceedings along, fines are not usually outrageous, especially in civil cases. However, criminal contempt is a different story. When being charged with criminal contempt, you might face stiffer penalties. If you do not want the contempt charge to ruin your life, then the easiest thing to do is pay the fine. If the judge does not give you this option, then you could end up in jail.
- Do the time.
When you are found guilty of contempt of court and jail time is your only option or the option you choose, then it is good to know that it usually is not for a long time. However, even just a small stay can cause major problems for you both personally and professionally. You will want to spend as less time as you can behind bars; therefore, if the judge has set bail, then take advantage of it. Afterwards, be sure to obey with the rest of the proceeding. Contempt is not considered double jeopardy. Every charge is different and can be punished as such.
Getting Help with Contempt of Court
If you find yourself or a loved one facing unexpected jail time due to contempt of court or any other charge, contact AAAA Discount Bail Bonds. We offer expert support and not judgement. Our main goal is to make sure you are at ease and to help guide you through this process. Call us today at (936) 539-4444 so one of our staff members can provide answers to the many questions you may have. We are open 24/7!