Understanding how court proceedings work is important for anyone who may potentially be involved in a criminal case. This is because ignoring court proceedings can result in incarceration. This piece aims to break down Texas law concerning contempt of court, including what individuals should do if they are accused of contempt.

Contempt of Court Lawyers

If you’re accused of contempt of court, you’ll want a criminal defense lawyer who can provide a strong defense. Price & Twine, PLLC is experienced at helping clients in Texas resolve criminal charges on favorable grounds. Call us at (512) 354-1880 to discuss your situation and next steps.

Contempt of Court Information Center

Back to top

Types Of Penalties and Punishments For Contempt Of Court Charges

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, according to Texas Statutes Section 21.002.

Under Texas law, there are different types of punishments depending on the type of court where the contempt 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.

Period Of Confinement

Texas law imposes a maximum period for which a person may be confined for contempt. For criminal contempt, this period cannot exceed 18 months (e.g., three 180-day periods of confinement for contempt that stems from the same matter). 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.

Back to top

Defenses To Contempt Of Court In Texas

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, 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 individual.

Back to top

Frequently Asked Questions About Contempt Of Court In Texas

What Is Contempt Of Court?

Actions that obstruct or disrespect the functioning of the court are considered contempt of court.

Can Child Support Non-Payment Lead To Contempt?

Yes, 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, they can be released.

Back to top

Price & Twine, PLLC Contempt Attorneys

When facing a contempt of court allegation, consider hiring a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. Price & Twine, PLLC brings years of criminal defense experience to your case, with the aim of protecting your rights throughout the legal process. Call (512) 354-1880 for a consultation. Our attorneys are ready to help.