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What to Know About Violating a Court Order in California

Posted by William Aron | Dec 07, 2021 | 0 Comments

If you have been given a court order in California, it is crucial that you follow that order to avoid any additional penalties or fines. You may face jail time and criminal charges if you violate a court order. If you have violated a California court order, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Aron Law Firm is a California criminal defense firm with experience helping clients who have violated a court order. You should know some crucial details about violating a court order in California.

Is it a Crime to Violate a Court Order in California?

Under California law, it is a crime if a person intentionally and purposefully violates a court order. Violating a court order is also known as contempt of court and can be charged in many different situations. According to California Penal Code Section 166 PC, violating a court order can be classified under a broad definition and can therefore be applied to an extensive range of behaviors.

If you are believed to be in contempt of court for violating a court order, the state will have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, they must provide evidence of each of the following elements of the crime:

  • A California court issued a lawful written court order instructing you to take specific action or stop partaking in a specific behavior.
  • You were aware of this court order and what it instructed you to do.
  • You had the ability to follow this court order.
  • You willfully and knowingly violated the terms of this court order.

If the state cannot prove each of the following elements of the crime, you may not be charged with violating your court order. It can be difficult for the prosecution to prove that a person knew of the court order and what it said in some cases. In some California cities, you have the legal right to be given the opportunity to read and review a court order that requires you to act in a particular manner.

What Are Examples of Contempt of Court in California?

Court orders can come in many different forms in California. Some examples of situations where you may be considered to be in contempt of court include:

  • Violating a court-ordered restraining order or stay-away order in a case of domestic violence
  • Refusing to testify as a witness to a crime
  • Interrupting court proceedings
  • Showing up to court late
  • Refusing to answer a question in court
  • Refusing to supply evidence to the court

If you are unsure if you are considered to be in contempt of court, it is crucial that you contact a skilled California criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Get Help from a California Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you violated a California court order, it is crucial you get help from a criminal defense lawyer to help defend your case. Sometimes, if you were not made aware of a court order or what it instructed you to do, you may not be guilty of that crime.

Aron Law Firm is a top-rated criminal defense law firm with experience helping clients who have violated a court order in California. We are proud to provide our clients with the dedicated and trusted representation they deserve. To schedule a discussion with us, contact us here or call (805) 618-1768.

About the Author

William Aron

Our firm is managed by William M. Aron. William M. Aron is a graduate from the Duke University School of Law and an active member of the California State Bar Association. While at Duke University, Mr. Aron also earned an M.A. in Psychology, authoring a paper examining the efficacy of polygraph e...

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