Order in the court is vital to ensure the operation of the criminal justice system. As a result, parties who are involved in court proceedings are expected to adhere to specific codes of conduct and to behave in appropriate ways. A failure to follow court rules or actions that interfere with the smooth operation of the criminal justice system and the administration of justice can have serious consequences.
Nevada law defines many crimes against public justice in Chapter 199, and one such crime is called criminal contempt. Criminal contempt could have serious consequences, and defendants who are found to have committed criminal contempt can face penalties that could affect their future.
Defendants accused of committing a contempt of court could be found guilty of a misdemeanor offense. You do not want a contempt conviction on your record, especially if you are already facing criminal prosecution and could be at risk of penalties. You should reach out to a Las Vegas defense attorney who can provide you with representation not only when you are accused of criminal contempt but also if you are facing other legal charges that resulted in the criminal proceedings where you allegedly committed a contempt of court.
Our legal team can work closely with you to understand what your options are if you have been accused of criminal contempt.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Nevada Revised Statute section 199.340 is the statute within Chapter 199 that details the specific offense of criminal contempt. According to the relevant statute, there are many different types of behavior that are considered to be criminal contempt.
Disorderly behavior, insolent behavior, and contemptuous behavior could lead to criminal contempt charges if it occurs in immediate view and in the presence of the court during the sitting of the court The behavior must impair the respect that is due to the authority of the court and/or must directly tend to interrupt court proceedings in order to be considered criminal contempt.
Similar behavior in the presence of a referee while engaged in a court or trial that is occurring as a result of a court order can also result in contempt charges, as can sitting in a trial or inquest authorized by law and engaging in disorderly, contemptuous or insolent behavior.
Breach of the peace that has a direct tendency to interrupt court proceedings or proceedings before a jury or referee are also likely to lead to criminal contempt charges, as is willfully disobeying a court mandate or willfully disobeying the lawful process of the court.
Unlawful refusal to be sworn in as a witness in court or unlawful refusal to answer legal and proper questions after being sworn in as a witness can also result in a charge of criminal contempt, as can publishing a false or grossly inaccurate result of court proceedings or acting as an attorney or officer of the court without having authority to do so.
Under Nevada Revised Statute section 199.340, engaging in any of these behaviors that results in criminal contempt charges can lead to a misdemeanor conviction if you are found guilty of the offense. A misdemeanor conviction could result in fines and even a term of incarceration, among other potential penalties that could be imposed with a guilty verdict.
A Las Vegas criminal defense attorney at LV Criminal Defense is here to fight for you to avoid criminal contempt charges and to help you to try to reduce or avoid conviction fro any crimes against public justice or any other crime which you have been accused of. To find out more about how our legal team can help you, give us a call today.