What is Contempt of Court - Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorneys

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like most people, you’ve heard the term contempt of court—but what does it mean, and what happens if you’re convicted of it?

First things first: you may find it helpful to talk to a Milwaukee contempt of court lawyer if you’ve been accused of this crime. Your lawyer will be able to walk you through potential consequences and help you understand criminal contempt proceedings.

What is Contempt of Court in Wisconsin?

Contempt of court is an action or behavior that defies, disrespects, or insults the authority of the court. It doesn’t necessarily have to occur in a courtroom, although it can. Disobedience of an order, or resistance or obstruction of the court’s authority, processes, or order can also be considered contempt. Even refusal to appear, be sworn in, or answer questions can be seen as contempt of court, as can the refusal to produce a record, document, or other object.

The law views those actions as being detrimental to court proceedings and the court’s ability to administer justice. For the most part, the decision to hold someone in contempt is left to the judge’s discretion; it’s not necessarily automatic.

Who Can Be Charged With Contempt of Court?

Anyone in the courtroom can be charged with contempt of court, including lawyers, witnesses, and jurors. People observing the proceedings can be charged, too (such as members of the press and family members), and so can the court’s staff.

Punishments for Contempt of Court in Wisconsin

Contempt of court can lead to criminal charges, and under the law, you can be punished. The idea behind it is that the court wants to discourage others from engaging in the same behavior.

You could be ordered to pay to compensate a party for the loss your contemptuous behavior caused, or you could be imprisoned until you stop committing the contempt (or 6 months, whichever is shorter). You could face other penalties, too, so it’s a good idea to get in touch with an attorney if you’re accused of contempt of court.

Do You Need to Talk to a Contempt of Court Lawyer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?

If you’ve been charged with this crime, it may be in your best interest to talk to a contempt of court lawyer in Milwaukee. Call us at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online. We’ll look at your case and begin developing a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino