Contempt of Court

You may be held in contempt of court if you behave in a way that defies the orders of a court or is disrespectful to court proceedings. When we see characters in movies being held in contempt of court after a violent outburst directed toward a judge, we are seeing an example of direct criminal contempt of court.

Direct means that it happens during court proceeding or in front of a court. Criminal contempt of court is a charge in and of itself and is not contingent on what happens during the original proceedings. For example, if a person is jailed for contempt of court during a trial and then is found innocent in that trial, they will still be held responsible for the contempt of court charge.

Civil contempt of court has the same spirit as criminal contempt, but it refers to ignoring a court order such as not paying court fines or ordered child support payments.

A Howard County, Maryland family law attorney can provide more information about being held in contempt of court over child support and other matters.