Understanding the intricacies of legal proceedings is crucial for anyone who may potentially be involved in a court case. One concept that often raises eyebrows but is rarely explained in detail is contempt of court. This piece aims to break down the 2022 Texas Statutes concerning contempt of court, specifically Section 21.002 of the Government Code.
What Is Contempt Of Court? Contempt of court refers to any behavior that disrespects or obstructs the functioning of a court. Courts in Texas have the power to punish people for contempt as per Section 21.002(a), except in certain conditions outlined in the statute. This helps maintain the dignity and authority of the judicial system.
Attorneys Defending Contempt of Court Accusations
If you’ve been accused of contempt of court, you need a criminal defense lawyer who can provide a strong defense. Price & Twine, PLLC focuses on criminal defense and offers tailor-made strategies to ensure one of the best possible outcomes for your case. Make the right choice for your future by scheduling a consultation with a qualified contempt of court lawyer today. Call us at (512) 354-1880 to discuss your unique situation.
Contempt of Court Information Center
- Types Of Punishments For Contempt Of Court Charges
- Defenses To Contempt Of Court In Texas: Insights From Section 21.002
- Frequently Asked Questions About Contempt Of Court In Texas: A Focus On Section 21.002
Section 21.002 sets forth different types of punishments depending on the type of court where the contempt charge occurs. For contempt in courts other than justice courts or municipal courts, the punishment could be a fine of up to $500 or confinement in the county jail for up to six months, or both.
When it comes to justice courts or municipal courts, the punishment is a bit less severe. Texas law states that the fine cannot exceed $100, and the period of confinement in the county or city jail is limited to three days. The convicted person could also face both these penalties.
Period Of Confinement
Section 21.002 sets forth the maximum period for which a person may be confined for contempt. For criminal contempt, this period cannot exceed 18 months. For civil contempt, the period is the lesser of 18 months or the time from the date of confinement to the date the person complies with the court order.
Child Support Payment Issues
A person may be sentenced to confinement for contempt of court for not obeying a court order to make periodic payments for the support of a child. While not a defense per se, a person’s inability to make child support payments due to a sudden, unavoidable change in financial circumstances could potentially serve as a defense.
Compliance With Court Orders
Another defense could be compliance with a court order in cases of civil contempt. The period of confinement for civil contempt is until the person complies with the court order or 18 months, whichever is lesser. Therefore, compliance could terminate the contempt charge and lead to the release of the contemner.
What Is Contempt Of Court?
Actions that obstruct or disrespect the functioning of the court are considered contempt of court. Under Section 21.002(a), courts in Texas are authorized to punish individuals for contempt, barring some specific exceptions mentioned in the statute.
What Are The Penalties For Contempt In Texas?
Penalties for contempt depend on the type of court. According to Section 21.002(b), contempt in courts other than justice or municipal courts can result in a fine of up to $500, jail time of up to six months, or both. For justice and municipal courts, as per Section 21.002(c), the fine can’t exceed $100, and jail time is limited to three days.
Can State Employees Be Held In Contempt?
Section 21.002 provides a specific defense for state employees, agencies, and institutions. They cannot be punished for contempt if they fail to initiate a program or perform a duty for which adequate funding or time for implementation has not been provided.
Is There A Maximum Confinement Period For Contempt?
Yes, according to Section 21.002(h), the maximum period for confinement for criminal contempt is 18 months. For civil contempt, it is the lesser of 18 months or the period from the date of confinement to the date the individual complies with the court order.
Can Child Support Non-Payment Lead To Contempt?
Yes, as per Section 21.002(f), if someone fails to make periodic payments for child support, they can be punished by confinement for contempt.
What If I Comply With The Court Order While Being Confined For Civil Contempt?
If a person complies with the court order while being confined for civil contempt, Section 21.002(h)(2) implies that they can be released. The period of confinement for civil contempt is until compliance with the court order or 18 months, whichever is shorter.
Experience Matters: Choose Price & Twine Contempt Attorneys
Section 21.002 of the Texas Government Code provides detailed guidelines on contempt of court, its penalties, and specific defenses. Understanding these details can be invaluable for someone who may potentially be charged with a crime in Texas.
When your future is on the line due to a contempt of court allegation, consider hiring a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. Price & Twine, PLLC brings years of criminal defense expertise to your case, ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Don’t settle for less; choose the criminal defense lawyers who have the knowledge and skill to navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system. Call (512) 354-1880 to begin your defense today. Our attorneys are ready to help.