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New Brunswick Criminal Contempt Lawyers
The offense of criminal contempt arises in Middlesex County when someone disobeys a court order or obstructions the jurisdiction of the court over person or property. Although this charge can result under many circumstances, the biggest setting is clearly within the context of violation of a restraining order. If you were charged with contempt in Carteret, Middlesex, South Plainfield, Perth Amboy or another municipality, your case will invariably end up in the Superior Court located in New Brunswick NJ. This is the only place that an indictable crime of the fourth degree like criminal contempt can be decided. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have many years of experience representing individuals accused of violating a court order under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9. Several attorneys our staff also served as prosecutors prior to join the firm, including Jason Seidman, Esq., a former supervisor in the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. To speak to a lawyer on our team anytime 24/7, call our New Brunswick Office at 732-246-7126.
Contempt Offense in Middlesex County New Jersey
Criminal contempt is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9. In terms of precise language, this law provides, in pertinent part, that:
a. A person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if he purposely or knowingly disobeys a judicial order or protective order, pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1985, c. 250 C.2C:28-5.1), or hinders, obstructs or impedes the effectuation of a judicial order or the exercise of jurisdiction over any person, thing or controversy by a court, administrative body or investigative entity.
It is a fourth degree crime to commit criminal contempt in Middlesex County. In order to obtain a conviction for this offense, the state must prove three elements. First, there must be a court order in existence. Second, the accused must have disobeyed, hindered, obstructed or impeded enforcement of the order. Third, the defendant’s conduct must have been knowing or purposeful.
Exceptions To The Contempt For Domestic Orders. There are five exceptions under 2C:29-9 where someone cannot be charged with contempt. Orders involving the following subjects are not subject to a contempt violation: (1) parenting time; (2) payment of monetary compensation; (3) directing someone to undergo counseling; (4) directing the payment of rent or a mortgage; and (5) granting temporary possession of personal property.
Penalties. A conviction for criminal contempt is a fourth degree crime, the equivalent of a felony under New Jersey Law. An individual may be sentenced to up to 18 months in state prison and fined up to $10,000.
Middlesex County Contempt Offense Attorney
Our lawyers defend clients accused of contempt throughout Middlesex County, including in New Brunswick, Helmetta, Jamesburg, South Amboy or Woodbridge. We attack every case with the perspective of avoiding a conviction altogether through dismissal. And even when this is not a viable option, an attorney on our team will attempt to secure a downgrade to a disorderly persons offense. If you would like to speak to a lawyer at The Marshall Law Firm about the charge you are facing, contact our Woodbridge Office at 732-634-0700 for a free consultation.