Long Island Criminal Contempt Lawyer

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Defying the court is not only disrespectful; it is against the law. When the court issues orders, the involved individual is required by law to comply. When this does not happen, criminal contempt charges can follow.

Criminal contempt is a serious criminal charge and carries a set of significant penalties, including fines and possible jail time. If you are facing criminal contempt charges in New York, it is crucial to get experienced legal guidance. Criminal defense attorney Edward Palermo is an experienced Long Island criminal contempt lawyer with over 28 years of experience representing individuals facing criminal charges.

Criminal contempt is a serious charge and can result in equally serious penalties. You will also be left with a criminal record that can tarnish your reputation and affect your everyday life. At Edward Palermo Criminal Defense, our first priority is to protect your legal rights and your future with the full strength of the law.

Call us at (631) 265-1052 to schedule a free consultation regarding your charges in Nassau County or Suffolk County. 

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What is Criminal Contempt?

Most people are familiar with the term contempt of court when things get unruly during a television courtroom drama. But criminal contempt is not just a reprimand. It is a serious criminal charge and carries its own set of penalties.

Criminal contempt charges can be either direct or indirect. While direct contempt behavior interrupts a court and its proceeding, indirect contempt generally stems from an individual disobeying the court from outside the courtroom, such as defying a court order. Whenever an individual defies or disrespects the court, either directly or indirectly, charges of criminal contempt can be brought. 

If you are facing criminal contempt charges, you must take them very seriously. The court does. Getting skilled legal defense as soon as possible is crucial. Long Island criminal contempt lawyer Edward Palermo has dedicated his practice to those facing the criminal justice system in NY. Everyone is entitled to legal counsel when they have been charged with a crime. Don’t trust yours to chance. If you need a lawyer from Nassau County or Suffolk County, contact us today. 

Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree

Criminal contempt in the second degree refers to various disruptions to the workings of a court and can be charged when an individual has been ruled disobedient in or near a court proceeding.

Under New York Penal Law § 215.50, criminal contempt can be charged when an individual:

  • Behaves in a disorderly way during the sitting of a court
  • Disturbs the court with noises or other disturbances intended to interrupt the court’s proceedings
  • Intentionally disobeys or resists the lawful process or other mandates of the court except in cases of labor disputes
  • Refuses to be sworn in as a witness or refuses to answer questions during a court proceeding
  • Publishes false reports of a court proceeding
  • Refuses to obey laws or rules regarding the establishment of commissioners of jurors and their duties or refuses to be sworn in as provided by law
  • Engages in loud protests calling for a specific action of the court or jury within two hundred feet of the courthouse where the related trial is taking place

Criminal contempt in the second degree is considered a Class A misdemeanor.

At Edward Palermo Criminal Defense, we prioritize protecting your freedom and rights. If you face Suffolk County criminal contempt charges, speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately.

For a free consultation regarding your criminal case, call (631) 265-1052.

Criminal Contempt in the First Degree

Under New York Penal Code § 215.51, criminal contempt in the first degree is most commonly charged when there is a violation of an order of protection. An order of protection orders a defendant to stay away from another individual and generally involves incidents of alleged domestic violence.

Violations of an order of protection can include:

  • Making physical contact or attempting to make contact with the protected individual
  • Repeatedly calling that person
  • Communicating with that individual
  • Following the protected person
  • Damaging property owned by that person
  • Putting that individual in fear of injury or death
  • Displaying a deadly weapon to that individual

Regardless of who initiated contact, the defendant can still be in violation of the protective order.

Criminal contempt in the first degree is considered a Class E felony.

To learn more about criminal contempt charges on Long Island, contact Edward Palermo Criminal Defense today at (631) 265-1052.

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Aggravated Criminal Contempt

Aggravated Criminal Contempt in New York is the most serious of contempt charges.

Under New York Penal Code § 215.52, when an individual violates an order of protection by injuring the person protected under the order, that individual can be charged with aggravated criminal contempt. Additionally, an individual with a prior record of first-degree or aggravated contempt may also be charged with aggravated criminal contempt. Aggravated criminal contempt is considered a Class D felony.

Penalties for Criminal Contempt in New York

Penalties for criminal contempt will depend on the level of the offense and other factors surrounding the case.

  • A second-degree criminal contempt conviction, as a Class A misdemeanor, is punishable by up to one year in jail or three years of probation and fines of up to $1,000.
  • A first-degree criminal contempt conviction, as a Class E felony, is punishable by up to four years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
  • As a Class D felony, an aggravated criminal contempt conviction can be punished by up to seven years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.

When a defendant is charged with criminal contempt, these charges are added to any charges already pending. Furthermore, it signals to the court that the defendant may not be trusted to follow other orders which may result in other possible consequences.

Long Island Criminal Contempt Defense

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Order of protection violations can range from an innocent text message to a physical attack. The nature of the defendant’s conduct will determine what level of criminal contempt charges will be brought and what defense options may be available. Behaviors such as threats and stalking may raise a misdemeanor offense to a felony charge. Physical assault resulting in an injury can further elevate those charges to aggravated criminal contempt. Each elevation in charges carries stiffer penalties.  Defense strategies must take all evidence and conduct into account and be tailored to each case.

A criminal contempt conviction can result in significant fines, incarceration, and a criminal record that will follow you long after you have satisfied any penalties. If you are facing criminal contempt charges on Long Island, Edward Palermo and the experienced team at Edward Palermo Criminal Defense are committed to your best outcome. Our skilled Long Island criminal contempt lawyers will look at all factors and develop the best possible strategy to protect your rights and your future.

Call us at (631) 265-1052 to schedule a no-cost consultation to discuss your case and your possible options.

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