Failure to comply with an order of the court can result in a defendant being held in contempt. In some cases, contempts can constitute a federal crime.
In these circumstances, it is very important that you understand what your rights are and how you can defend yourself if you are accused of violating the law and are facing criminal charges. You need to know what a prosecutor must prove to secure a conviction against you and you need to ensure that you get the right legal help to try to introduce reasonable doubt or to raise affirmative defenses so a prosecutor is unable to get a guilty verdict.
Contempt crimes cases can be complicated and having the right federal criminal defense attorney on your side can make a big difference in determining whether you are convicted or acquitted. A good attorney can also help you to work out a deal with a prosecutor in appropriate circumstances to get charges reduced or to lessen the possible penalties that you could end up facing.
Not all attorneys have the knowledge of federal laws on contempts constituting crimes to provide you with representation if you are facing criminal charges and not all criminal defense attorneys can represent you in federal court at all. LV Criminal Defense can help.
We have a long track record of representing clients in Arizona, Utah, California, and Nevada who have been charged with federal offenses in violation of the federal penal code found within Title 18. We will put our legal knowledge to work to help you fight charges.
To find out more about the ways in which our firm can assist you in defending yourself against accusations of wrongdoing when you are in a situation where a court has held you in contempt and the contempt constitutes a crime. Give us a call now to get a compassionate and knowledgeable legal advocate on your side.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
18 U.S. Code Chapter 21 is the part of the U.S. Code that deals with contempts. There are three statutes within the relevant section. The first, 18 U.S. code section 401, deals with the power of the court. The second, 18 U.S. code section 402, explains when contempts constitute crimes. Finally, the third, 18 U.S. Code section 403, deals with protection of the privacy of child victims and child witnesses.
According to 18 U.S. Code section 401, a United States court has been vested with the power to punish misbehavior of any person in the courts presence or near enough to the court so as to obstruct the administration of justice. U.S. courts also have the power under this statute to punish the misbehavior of any of its court officers in any of their official transactions. Finally, the statute gives U.S. courts the power to punish disobedience of any lawful writs, processes, orders, rules, decrees, or commands.
Under 18 U.S. Code section 401, the court can impose a punishment including a fine or imprisonment or both in circumstances where someone shows contempt of its authority by engaging in any of these actions, including misbehavior in or near the court; misbehavior of court officers; or disobedience of lawful court orders.
18 U.S. Code section 402 establishes the rules for when certain contempts of the courts authority can constitute criminal conduct and lead to criminal prosecution. According to the relevant law, any person or corporation or association can be charged under this statute for willfully disobeying a lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree or command of a U.S. District Court of the U.S. or any D.C. court by engaging in a forbidden act if the act constitutes a criminal offense under U.S. law or the laws in which the crime was committed.
If a defendant engages in an unlawful act in violation of a court order, the defendant could be fined or imprisoned or both. The fine must be made either to the U.S. or to a complainant or to anyone who was injured by the act taken. The maximum fine is $1,000 and the money from the fine can be divided up in the event that multiple people were damaged by the conduct of the defendant.
A defendant who is found to have committed contempts constituting crimes can be imprisoned for a maximum of six months under the terms of 18 U.S. Code section 402.
Finally, 18 U.S. code section 403 establishes rules aimed at protecting child victim sand ensuring their privacy. According to the relevant statute, knowingly violating laws in section 3509 that aim to protect young victims can result in a defendant being charged with a criminal offense. The penalty for violating the rules aimed at protecting the privacy of child victims can include a maximum of one year of prison time as well as a fine.
If you have been accused of violating any court order, any contempts constituting crimes, or any other actions that were in violation of the provisions of Title 18, Chapter 21, you need to ensure that you understand what requirements these statutes establish for prosecutors to prove the case against you. You also need to understand how to defend yourself against the charges you are facing.
LV Criminal Defense can provide representation to defendants accused of contempts constituting crimes or defendants in any circumstances where they have been held in contempt of court. We can work to help you resolve the problem with the court and hopefully avoid further prosecution and penalties so you can move on with your future.
We provide representation in Nevada, Utah, California and surrounding states and we have the experience necessary to maximize your chances of acquittal or a favorable plea agreement. To find out more about how our legal defense team can help you, give us a call today.