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To be charged with criminal contempt, you must have done any of the following:

  • Disobeyed or resisted a lawful writ, process, order, rule, judgment or command of a court or officer
  • Misbehaved as an officer of the court while performing official duties or while in official transactions
  • Disobeyed a subpoena or refused to be sworn in as a witness when lawfully required
  • Rescued or attempted to rescue a person or piece of property being held by an officer by a court order or process
  • Failed to appear as a witness in court as required by your bond agreement
  • Failed to pay child support
  • Failed to obey a subpoena issued by the department of job and family services or a child support agency
  • Failed to submit to genetic testing or submit a child to genetic testing as ordered

Depending on the nature of the allegations, contempt is an offense that is punishable by up to between 30 and 90 days in jail.

If you are convicted of contempt, additional potential issues include:

  • Maintaining your current employment
  • Licensure issues in some professions
  • Difficulty getting a good job in the future
  • Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings

Simply put, if you are convicted of contempt, it can potentially be on your criminal background for the rest of your life. No matter what the circumstances were in your case, you rightly or wrongly run the risk of being considered someone who is unable to follow orders. Therefore, it is critical that you give your contempt charge the level of importance it deserves.

The Columbus Criminal Defense team takes an aggressive and comprehensive approach when representing clients charged with contempt. First and foremost, we will figure out what mistakes the police or detectives made during their investigation and any other legal issues that can be raised on your behalf.

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, witness statements and potentially video or audio. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

For nearly ten years, the Columbus Criminal Defense team has successfully represented clients charged with criminal offenses from minor misdemeanors to first degree felonies. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

Contact us today!

Are you in trouble? Contact us.

If you’ve been charged with contempt, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced criminal attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at

You will face the following penalties:
  • At most, a jail term of 30 days
  • At most, a fine of $250
You will face the following penalties:
  • At most, a jail term of 60 days
  • At most, a fine of $500
You will face the following penalties:
  • At most, a jail term of 90 days
  • At most, a fine of $1,000
Have a question we didn’t answer below? Feel free to email us or call us and we’ll help you out.

No, contempt of court is a civil proceeding, not criminal. Regardless, it behooves you to go through with everything the court orders so that you don’t face further penalties.
Yes. Whoever pressed charges has to prove to a judge that you didn’t follow an official order.
If the judge presses charges, this is considered criminal contempt and he or she has the power to send you to jail for a period determined by him/her. You are not allowed to have an attorney represent you in this circumstance, since the judge witnessed the behavior.

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335


FAX: (614) 413-2886