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Contempt of court charges can turn a challenging situation into a legal nightmare. When the weight of these charges bears down on you, you need an experienced Oakland contempt lawyer by your side.

At The Nieves Law Firm, our criminal defense lawyers place your best interests at heart and fight to defend your freedom, protect your reputation, and secure the best outcome. Our team will work tirelessly to protect your rights and minimize the consequences.

Don’t let contempt charges define your future. Let us fight for you and help navigate the legal system. Contact us today for a confidential consultation and take the first step toward reclaiming your life. En Español.

Defining Contempt of Court

Contempt charges can surface when an individual subjected to a court order fails to suitably comply with the order’s requirements, even though they have the ability to. Contempt orders can occur in civil and criminal contexts, with different punishments.

Family law cases involving children, custody, and support are particularly troublesome – such as actions to enforce a custody order. Contempt actions that originate in family law court are quasi-criminal in nature and can result in actual jail time if found in contempt of court, in which case an Oakland contempt attorney should be consulted.

What is Criminal Contempt?

Direct Criminal Contempt is defined as any behavior deemed inappropriate or disrespectful to the court and its process that occurs in the court’s presence.

Examples include:

  • Displaying a disrespectful attitude to a judge
  • Loudly interrupting the court process
  • Refusing to be sworn in as a witness
  • Disobeying court orders, or
  • Falsely portraying an account of court proceedings.

Additionally, Indirect contempt occurs when a court order is disobeyed outside the court’s presence. It is usually reported by another party or to the police and then makes its way back to the courtroom through a criminal complaint.

Penalties for Criminal Contempt of Court

According to California Penal Code 166 PC, contempt of court in criminal cases is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to one year in jail time and fines of up to $5,000. In some cases, a judge can award probation in lieu of jail time.

What is Civil Contempt?

Civil contempt in California courts usually enforces child support, spousal support, child custody, and visitation rights.

Examples of actions that could lead to a contempt order include:

  • Violating a restraining order
  • Failing to pay the necessary child and spousal support
  • Refusing to return a child after a scheduled visitation, or
  • Refusing to grant visitation rights to an individual

There are, however, defenses that can be mounted against these contempt charges, and here at The Nieves Law Firm, we focus on building a strong defense and work smart and hard to achieve the best results for your case.

Penalties for Civil Contempt of Court

According to Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 1218, penalties for contempt of court in family court cases include jail time up to 5 days and a $1,000 for each count of contempt. For example, each missed monthly support payment in a child support proceeding will be considered a separate act. The court breaks it down as such:

  • First offense — Community service or imprisonment for up to 120 hours (5 days) for each count of contempt
  • Second offense — 120 hours of community service and 120 hours of imprisonment for each act of contempt
  • Third offense — 240 hours of community service and 240 hours of imprisonment for each count of contempt

Keep in mind, that family court penalties are mandatory.

Defending Against Contempt of Court Charges in Oakland

When facing contempt of court charges in Oakland, it is crucial to mount a strong defense. Here are a few key strategies to consider:

  1. No Willful Violation of a Court Order: Contempt of court requires a willful violation of a court order. If you can demonstrate that you did not intentionally disregard or disobey the court’s order, it can be a strong defense. This defense involves proving that any non-compliance was not deliberate but a result of misunderstanding, miscommunication, or circumstances beyond your control.
  2. No Disorderly Conduct: In cases where the contempt charges are based on disorderly conduct within the court premises, you can argue that your actions did not disrupt the proceedings or impede the administration of justice. Your defense may involve presenting evidence that your behavior was not disruptive, aggressive, or contemptuous, but rather within the bounds of acceptable conduct.
  3. Falsely Accused: If you believe you have been falsely accused of contempt, it is essential to gather evidence to support your defense. This can include witness testimonies, surveillance footage, or any other relevant documentation that can prove your innocence or establish an alibi.

To effectively navigate contempt of court criminal charges and determine the most suitable defense strategy, consult with a criminal defense attorney with experience handling similar cases. They can assess the specifics of your situation, review the evidence against you, and provide tailored legal advice to protect your rights and interests.

Keep in mind that the success of your defense may depend on the unique circumstances of your case and your attorney’s experience. Promptly seeking a consultation with a criminal defense attorney will give you the best chance of building a solid defense and achieving a favorable outcome in your contempt of court case.

Hiring an Oakland Contempt of Court Attorney

Our Oakland contempt lawyers help you build a strong defense against contempt charges and offer experienced, professional representation in court. We place your interests first and prioritize your freedom. We are committed to providing our clients with top-notch, professional, caring, and results-driven assistance to build the best defense strategy possible while keeping the client up to date and fighting for the best outcome.

Our team of contempt attorneys believes that our clients should always be up to date with a real-time understanding of their case as it progresses. Contempt can have serious consequences and penalties, so it is important to equip yourself with an Oakland contempt lawyer to assist with this complicated field of law.

Regardless of your issue, The Nieves Law Firm is well-equipped to assist with the legal challenges you are facing and is committed to ensuring customer satisfaction at all times. Contact us today.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving the Bay Area

The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.

As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

Our Team

Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

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Our Criminal Defense Attorneys: How to Take Back Control of Your Life, And Your Future.

When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

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