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NY Penal Law 215 Criminal Contempt

In our ongoing series of posts, we’ve gone in great detail into New York’s penal law while simplifying some of the legalese you’ll find there, all with the intention of making things just a little more clearer and easier to understand for you. Now in the past we’ve covered topics ranging from healthcare fraud to larceny, even things like bribery and the like. Today, however, we’re going to get into the various charges for criminal contempt. Since all of these charges involve a defendant who’s already in some sort of court for proceedings, you can imagine it’s a little bit different of a process. So in order to make things a little bit easier to understand, we’re going to lay out the charges involved in criminal contempt, Aggravated criminal contempt, bail jumping, even Failing to respond to an appearance ticket. First, we’ll start with the charge that’s known as criminal contempt in the second degree.

Criminal contempt in the second degree.

For Criminal contempt in the second degree, you’re guilty if you engage in disorderly, contemptuous behavior while sitting in court, or breach the peace, or intentionally disobey the lawful process. This crime is considered a class A misdemeanor.

Criminal contempt in the first degree.

For this last charge in criminal contempt, you’re guilty if you refuse to be sworn as a witness, or if you violate an order of protection and intentionally display a deadly weapon to place someone in fear, or if you put someone in fear of physical injury by following this person. This crime is a class E felony.

Aggravated criminal contempt.

Aggravated criminal contempt is when you intentionally cause physical injury to someone who had a protective order placed on them. This is a class D felony.

Bail jumping in the third degree.

Bail jumping in the third degree is when you’ve been released on condition that you’ll appear in connection with a criminal proceeding and then don’t appear. This is a class A misdemeanor.

Bail jumping in the second degree.

Same here, but with the addition that you’ve committed a felony. This crime is a class E felony.

Bail jumping in the first degree.

This is also the same charge, but it applies if you’ve committed a class A or class B felony. This charge is a class D felony.

Failing to respond to an appearance ticket.

You’re guilty of this charge when you don’t appear in court after being served with an appearance ticket. This is a violation.

Bail jumping and failing to respond to an appearance ticket;defense.

Keep in mind, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant’s failure to appear was because of circumstances beyond their control, and during that period the defendant either appeared as soon as they could or didn’t appear again due to circumstances beyond their control.

Criminal contempt of the legislature.

This crime is when after being subpoenaed as a witness, you fail to attend, or refuse to be sworn, or refuse to answer any question, or refuse to produce material that qualifies as evidence. This crime is a class A misdemeanor.

Criminal contempt of a temporary state commission.

You’re guilty of this crime when you fail or refuse to attend as a witness after being subpoenaed. This is a class A misdemeanor.

Criminal contempt of the state commission on judicial conduct.

Same thing here, but this is if you don’t attend a state commission, and this is a class A misdemeanor.

There you have it. We hope that was a painless process, considering we stripped away the mountain of legalese you’d expect to find in discussions of the law and left you with something a little more concise and straight to the point.

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