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Criminal Contempt | Lawyers/Attorneys

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Criminal Contempt2020-08-25T17:50:20+00:00

Criminal Contempt | Lawyers & Attorneys

The crime of Criminal Contempt is charged if a person fails to comply with a court order, direction or proceeding. The most common example of this occurs if a person is issued an order of protection, and disobeys it by having contact with the protected person. A charge of Criminal Contempt can only occur when a person is alleged to have violated a direct order or instruction from a Judge. There are various types of Criminal Contempt charges which include:

  • Criminal Contempt in the 2nd degree, a class A misdemeanor in violation of N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.50;
  • Criminal Contempt in the 1st degree, a class E felony in violation of N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51;
  • Aggravated Criminal Contempt, a class D Felony in violation of N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.52.

A conviction for any charge of Criminal Contempt will result in a criminal history and criminal record.

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Contempt

Our criminal defense lawyers provide answers to some important questions below.

What is Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree?2020-07-16T17:34:53+00:00

Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree is a misdemeanor. You can be charged with Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, in violation of N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.50 when it is alleged that you have done or committed any of the following conduct:

  • Disorderly or disrespectful behavior committed while in Court and interrupting or impairing the authority of the court, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.50(1).
  • Disturbing court proceedings, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.50(2).
  • Intentional Disobedience to Law Process or Mandate of a court, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.50(3).
  • Refusing to be sworn as a witness or participate in a court proceeding, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.50(4).
  • Knowingly Providing False or Inaccurate Reports of a court proceeding, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.50(5).
  • Avoiding Jury Service, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.50(6).
  • Conduct close to the courthouse trying to interfere with the Court, a jury, or a trial, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.50(7).
If I disobey an order of protection, can I be charged with Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree?2020-09-29T14:29:02+00:00

Yes. If you intentionally disobey an order of the court, you may be charged with Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree in violation of N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.50(3).  For this charge, it will be alleged that a person was ordered to have no contact or limited contact with a protected party and that someone intentionally had contact or communication in direct violation of the previously issued Order of Protection.

What are the penalties for Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, in violation of N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.50?2020-07-16T17:33:50+00:00

Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, is a class A misdemeanor. A conviction for this crime can result in the following penalties:

  • Up to 1 year in the local or County Jail.
  • Up to 3 years of Probation.
  • Up to $1000 in fines.
  • Restitution, if applicable.
What is Criminal Contempt in the First Degree?2020-09-29T14:31:37+00:00

Criminal Contempt in the First Degree is a felony. You can be charged with Criminal Contempt in the First degree, in violation of N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51 when it is alleged that you have committed any of the following acts:

  • Refusing to be sworn as a witness before a grand jury, or having been sworn as grand jury witness, refusing to answer questions, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51(a);
  • Violating an Order of Protection by:
    • Menacing or Threat, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51(b)(i).
    • Stalking, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51(b)(ii).
    • Instilling Fear by Electronic Means, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51(b)(iii).
    • Repeated Telephone Calls, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51(b)(iv).
    • Striking, Kicking, or Other Physical Contact, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51(b)(v).
    • Physical menace by placing the protected party in fear of death, or imminent serious physical injury or injury, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51(b)(vi).
  • Intentionally violating the Order of Protection when you have a previous conviction of Criminal Contempt within the last 5 years, N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.5(c); and
  • Intentionally or Recklessly causes $250 or more damages to the property of the protected party N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51(d).
If I disobey an Order of Protection, can I be charged with a Felony?2020-09-29T14:32:41+00:00

Yes. If you violate a lawfully issued Order of Protection  you may be charged with a felony if  you have contact with the protected person and also cause fear or threaten the use of death, or injury  and/or commit any of the following acts:

  • Display a deadly weapon; Dangerous Instrument; Pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun; machine gun.
  • Repeatedly follow the protected party.
  • Repeatedly commit prohibited acts over a period of time.
  • Send threatening messages by phone, email or other communications.
  • Make telephone calls for no legitimate purpose.
  • Strike; shove, kick or threatens to do the same.
What are the penalties for Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, in violation of N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51?2020-07-16T17:32:21+00:00

Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, in violation of N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.51, is a class E Felony and is subject to the following penalties:

  • Up to 4 years in State Prison/Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
  • Up to 5 years of Probation.
  • Up to $5000 in fines or double the gain from the crime; and
  • Restitution, if applicable.
What is Aggravated Criminal Contempt?2020-07-16T17:31:58+00:00

Aggravated Criminal Contempt is a Felony. You can be charged with Aggravated Criminal Contempt when you:

  • Intentionally or recklessly cause serious physical injury or injury to the protected party.
  • Commit the crime of Criminal Contempt in the First degree in violations of N.Y. Penal Law Sections 215.51(b) or 215.51 (d) and have been convicted of Aggravated Criminal Contempt in the past; and
  • Have previously been convicted of Criminal Contempt in the First Degree in the past 5 years.
If I disobey an Order of Protection, can I be charged with Aggravated Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree?2020-09-29T14:34:23+00:00

Yes. If you violate an existing Order of Protection and either recklessly or intentionally cause injury to the protected party, you may be charged with Aggravated Criminal Contempt.

What are the penalties for Aggravated Criminal Contempt, in violation of N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.52?2020-07-16T17:30:43+00:00

Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, in violation of N.Y. Penal Law Section 215.52, is a class D Felony and is subject to the following penalties:

  • Up to 7 years in State Prison/Department of Corrections and Community Supervision;
  • Up to 5 years of Probation.
  • Up to $5000 in fines or double the gain from the crime; and
  • Restitution, if applicable.

Timeline of a Criminal Defense Case

  • Whether you just made a big mistake, or are being falsely accused, this can be a very emotional and important time in a case
  • It is very important that you remain silent and not answer any questions about the case without a lawyer present

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  • Contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible
  • Confirm the lawyer is an experienced criminal defense lawyer
  • Meet with the lawyer who will help you understand the process of a criminal case

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  • If you have been arrested, critical proceedings and time frames begin immediately
  • You will appear before a judge who will determine if you will be incarcerated, released on bail or supervision, or released without conditions
  • If you are charged with a felony in a town, village or city court, the prosecuting agency will have six months from the date of your arrest to determine whether to present your case to a grand jury to seek an indictment or return your case to a lower court to be handled as a misdemeanor

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  • Discovery is the exchange of information between the governmental agency prosecuting you, you, and your attorney
  • In New York State this process begins shortly after your appearance in court
  • You can expect exchange of the following if it exists in your case:
    • Police Reports
    • Investigative Notes
    • Videos / Body Camera Footage / Dash Camera Footage
    • Forensic Reports
    • Photographs
    • Exculpatory Material (Brady)
    • Impeachment Material
  • You and your attorney may also be engaged in information gathering that includes:
    • Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Requests/Responses
    • Additional Witness Interviews
    • Expert Evaluations / Disclosures

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  • Motions are written applications to the court to request any of the following:
    • Preclude Evidence
    • Suppress Evidence
    • Seek a Ruling on a Constitutional Rights Violation
    • Seek Outright Dismissal of One or More Charges Based on Legal/Factual Matters
    • Request Hearings

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  • A plea bargain is an offer from the prosecuting attorney to resolve your case
  • Whether to plead guilty or not is always a choice you get to make, not your attorney
  • Your attorney will meet with you, discuss the facts and the law of your case, and offer advice. A plea offer takes into consideration your charges as well as:
    • Prior criminal history if any
    • Life experiences
    • Evidentiary Problems
    • Post-Incident Actions
      • Mental Health Counseling
      • Substance Abuse Treatment
      • Anger Management Treatment

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  • If you choose not to accept a plea bargain and are heading to trial, there are likely to be hearings to consider the following:
    • Preclusion/Suppression of Evidence
    • Admissibility of Evidence
    • What Prior Criminal History/Bad Acts May Be Introduced by the Prosecutor if You Testify on Your Own Behalf
  • During a hearing, there is no jury, and the judge will make factual and legal determinations regarding what evidence will be allowed at trial.

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  • You have the right to a trial by a fair and impartial jury or by the judge who will act as both judge and jury
  • At a trial, the prosecution has the burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
  • The judge or jury will listen to the evidence presented and the arguments by the lawyers, apply the facts to the law, and render a verdict of not guilty or guilty
  • A Verdict must be unanimous

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  • If you are convicted at trial, or if you entered a plea bargain, there will be a sentencing date where your punishment will be imposed by the judge
  • If you previously entered a plea bargain, the judge will likely impose the agreed upon sentence at that time

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  • In the event you are convicted, you have the right to appeal
  • This is true whether you plead guilty or are convicted after trial
  • However, by accepting a plea bargain, you may have waived some of your appellate rights
  • It is important that your attorney file a notice of appeal on your behalf and that you discuss the appeal process with your lawyer

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LaMarche Safranko Law Testimonials

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Vicki Testimonial Transcript
Well, I met George in 2014. My son was arrested for a criminal offense, and George—he has this ability, it’s just who he is. He’s genuinely empathetic and he’s very compassionate and he has the ability to just make you feel safe. You know? I just always felt I was in great hands and my son was in good hands and that we would have a good outcome of our situation and we always have. And he’s brilliant. He’s a brilliant lawyer. He’s very skilled and very creative. He has excellent rapport with all the judges and DAs and officials, and he’s always found a rehabilitative outcome for my son which I genuinely appreciate.

Laurie Testimonial Transcript
George was referred to me by my estate attorney. They go way back and it was a great referral, I don’t think I could have done any better, it was a very good match for me. Something that was really really instrumental in the whole thing was George keeping us up-to-date on what was going on and very much included. I was invited to be at all the depositions if I wanted to be and he gave me all the written depositions to read through, so I was always up-to-date on what was going on and I felt like a part of the process. I would definitely recommend George to other people. In fact, about 2 weeks ago I did. A friend of mine was in a pedestrian car accident, she was the pedestrian and is in pretty rough shape, and he was the first person I thought of so I actually asked him if it would be in his purview and he said yes. And I know that she’s very happy with him so far.

Jules Testimonial Transcript
What brought me to the firm was a personal incident where Andrew was recommended to me very highly by a family friend who’s also an attorney, and Andrew represented me to great satisfaction in that case. What impressed me the most about Andrew was his direct straightforward approach, and he has this incredible way of setting you at ease and yet telling you the good and the bad of a situation. I felt that he was very much a straight shooter and lived up to the reputation that preceded him. I would recommend them and Andrew Safranko to anybody in the world. They’re just that class of a group of people.

Chuck Testimonial Transcript
Well, I came to LaMarche Safranko Law because I knew Andy was here and he’s helped me in the past and I just feel so comfortable coming to him because you know you’re going to get the best outcome that you can get in a criminal law field. He’s done such a fabulous job for me and I’ve seen what he does for me, so I’m sure he’ll do the same—put out the same effort and energy and zeal it takes to win their case like he has mine. I would feel very comfortable recommending him.

“The staff at LaMarche Safranko Law took care of  whatever I needed, it was just fabulous. It was top shelf, if I called, I got George. If he was in a meeting, they left him a message. He called me right back after the meeting. Everybody was very courteous and very nice there. If I left a voicemail, everybody got back to me quickly. The level of service  was very, very good and I would Highly recommend them.”

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A personal injury client from Cohoes, NY

“My family and I cannot thank George and his staff enough for all of the support and guidance they have given us over the past six months. Anyone who has ever suffered a personal injury knows how difficult they are to overcome, but I’m glad we had such an intelligent and hardworking attorney on our side so I could focus on my recovery rather than on the details of the case….

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A personal injury client from Waterford, NY

“Dear Andrew and George,

I cannot thank you enough for your hard work, diligence, and selfless manner that you put towards my legal difficulties in Colonie. From the first moment I met you, you helped reassure me that things were going to turn out in a more favorable manner than I originally thought. Clearly, the final result of my court case displays the quality of time and work that you put into this….

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A client from Colonie, NY

“I am an attorney who found himself in the middle of a serious, personal legal matter that compromised not only my personal life but my professional life as well. I immediately contacted Andrew (Andy) Safranko, Esq. Andy worked tirelessly and extremely hard to bring my legal situation to a very favorable resolution. In so doing, Andy not only saved certain aspects of my personal and professional life

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Anonymous Attorney from Albany, NY

“Dear Mr. Safranko,

Thank You so much for answering my question, and so expediently!

The dedication, respect, and consideration with which you treat your clients, current and past, is remarkable. It is why I reached out to you when searching in my time of need, and why I would highly recommend…

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A client from Albany, NY

“Dear George, Andy and Staff,

Thank you all for your kindness and all your help in getting back to my wellbeing and life.  I could not have done it without you all.  Everything is going so well again.  I recommend you highly. Thanks Again!”

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A client from Troy, NY

“Throughout the attorney client relationship regarding my personal injury lawsuit, George and his staff continually exhibited tremendous amounts of legal knowledge, skill, and a vast amount of expert resources that ultimately resulted in a final judgment in my favor.  George was there every step of the way to explain where we stood and what to expect next and there was never a need to question his professional judgment…

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A client from Troy, NY

“Dear Andy,

Thank you so much for everything you have done for our son over the last three years.  This has been a very challenging time for our family and the knowledge that our son has an attorney as capable and amazing as you are has given us peace of mind!

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Parents of a client from Cropseyville, NY

“I cannot thank George E. LaMarche lll and his team for the excellent legal work they provided for my son, and in extension, our entire family. His experience, knowledge of the law, networking ability and communication is second to none. In our case, our son was wrongly accused by a small town police officer and charged with 5 tickets…

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A client from Altamont, NY

“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your excellent representation on my recent matter. I have worked with lawyers, and in law firms much of my professional life, but I have never encountered the rare mix of skill, integrity and humanity in one individual—you….

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A client from Rensselaer, NY

“I can honestly say that the best decision I’ve ever made was retaining George LaMarche as my attorney. I was in a situation where everything wasat risk; my career, livelihood, and the ability to provide for my family. In desperation, I contacted over a dozen attorneys. The majority of the lawyers I spoke with promised results without seeing paperwork or knowing valuable facts….

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A client from Albany, NY

“No one likes to be in a bad situation, but if you need a lawyer George is your man. Not only does he point you in the right direction he offers good advice for your future. As much as we bring him business he does not encourage that next time anticipation….

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A client from Albany, NY

“I wanted to express my deepest appreciation to Mr. Andrew Safranko for the exceptional job he did in regards to my legal representation. Mr. Safranko displayed the utmost in professionalism and discretion during the entire court process, and took the time to explain each and every step….

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A client from Schenectady, NY

“The arrest of my husband in 2008 was an extremely difficult and emotional time for our family. The arrest turned our lives upside down. It was sudden and unexpected and had tragic emotional as well as financial consequences. I had no idea what to do under the circumstances….

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A client from Upstate New York
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