When a court makes a final ruling on a case, there is often a court order included that must be followed by the parties to the action. These orders are not just guidelines; they are specific requirements that must be met to avoid consequences and penalties. When the court order is not followed, it is termed as being in contempt of court.
Direct contempt occurs in the presence of the court and typically includes disobedient conduct, refusal to comply with direct orders from the judge, or creating a disturbance in the courtroom. Indirect contempt occurs when one party to a court order fails to fulfill their obligations outside the presence of the judge. Let’s explore what this means in the state of California and what the implications are.
Contempt can be prosecuted criminally under Penal Code section 166 and carry with it a punishment of up to 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine. There is another version of contempt that occurs in civil courts that also carries heavy penalties and stems from disobedience of civil court orders — typically in the family law context.
Contempt can cover a variety of actions including failure to obey a restraining order when one has been issued against you, breaking the terms of a custody and visitation agreement like refusing your former spouse the right to see your child or not returning your child after a visitation, failure to pay attorneys fees and any other willful disobedience of an order.
One of the most common indirect contempt actions is the failure to comply with child support orders. Since this is a legal requirement ordered by a court, failure to pay is much more serious than deciding to skip your credit card payment. It can result in serious consequences including incarceration.
Civil contempt is a quasi-criminal action; therefore, the burden of proof is just as high as a criminal charge. For a contempt charge to stand, the petitioning party must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a valid order existed, the contemnor knew about the order, there was a willful violation of the order and in some cases that there was an ability to comply.
When contempt actions are brought in civil court the potential consequences include up to 5 days in jail and a $1000 fine per count. For example, if you are accused of failing to pay child support for 12 months then you could face up to 5 days and $1000 per month that you failed to pay — potentially 60 days in jail plus $12,000 in fines.
The Nieves Law Firm has the experience you need to defend your rights and protect you from unwarranted or unreasonable contempt charges. If you are facing a contempt charge, please do not hesitate to contact our offices right away.
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.
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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.
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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Case Dismissed after Completion of Drug Court
All Charges Dismissed and Property Ordered to be Returned to Client
Deferred Entry of Judgment
Case Dismissed without Trial
Motion to Vacate Granted
Restraining Order Denied and Sealed
Both Cases Dismissed Prior to Trial
No Charges Filed
No Criminal Charges Filed & Detention
No Jail Time & No Sex Offender Registration
Pled to 1 Petty Misdemeanor and Not Required to Register as Sex Offender
The Nieves Law firm was a great choice in helping me through my restraining order case, the whole team there does a great job at walking you through the steps of the legal process. Jose is a great lawyer and is good at what he does, in court he really shines and is able to debate the case very well and professionally. I would definitely pick them again if I had to!
Thank you to my attorney Grace for all your help with my case. It took awhile but the outcome has made me so happy that I am able to move forward with my life and forget the past. Everyone at this law firm from the beginning to the end have been so helpful and supportive. I highly recommend The Nieves Law Firm!
The Nieves Law Firm is absolutely amazing. The best customer services experience I have had, great communication, astonishing experience, and overall a team of professionals that dedicate themselves to ensuring the best result. I am really happy to have worked with this team. Jimarielle was very helpful and provided me the comfort and understanding in every way possible. Highly recommend.
Thank you to the whole Nieves legal team, especially to my attorney, Mari Bowie, for being so supportive, helpful, and professional to me and my family in these hard times in my life. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a law firm that actually looks at you as a human-being first and cares about your well-being. I appreciate all the support they’ve given and will go to them again if I ever need to down the road.
The Nieves Law Firm has an outstanding team of attorneys who are supportive and provide exceptional Client service. The founding attorney Jo-Anna, firmly stands on her mission and is backed by a team with expertise. You can trust you’ll be in good hands and that their team will give their absolute best to help you. If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney look no further they are knowledgeable and honestly the best to work with!