If you watch the local and national news, you probably have already seen by now the case of the Miami woman in court for Xanax possession, who decides to flip off the judge and gets 30 days in county jail for contempt of court. You can watch the whole scene on CNN.com.
As our team of criminal defense attorneys can attest, contempt of court is a serious offense and you should avoid this by hiring an experienced criminal lawyer to help you with any criminal proceedings you are going through, to prevent additional stress and legal problems. Good legal advice can provide you information regarding the best behavior to be adopted in court and can even lead to a more indulgent sentence, especially if it prevents you from having a meltdown in front of a judge.
You have to remember that Florida courts of justice have power to control courtroom behavior and to enforce court orders. If you disobey a court order, show disrespect for a judge or disrupt judicial proceedings, you risk severe punishment, including jail time, as it happened in the case of our Miami example. Besides the main two types of contempt – civil and criminal, this offense can be either direct (in front of a judge, as in the case above) or indirect (not in the presence of a judge).
Criminal contempt offenses are especially serious, since they assume making threats or insulting a judge or law representative, a witness or disobeying a subpoena. All these offenses attract a punishment imposed to reinforce the court’s authority and are punishable by a fine, jail time or both.
No matter what is the criminal offense for which you have to appear in court, make sure you are showing your best behavior and avoid unnecessary jail time added to your sentence. Remember that consulting a specialized criminal attorney can help you with all necessary legal procedures and in the defense of your case, and even prevent you from getting involved in additional offenses, such as contempt of court.