What Constitutes a Second Degree Criminal Contempt Charge in New York?

When looking at the law of Second Degree Criminal Contempt, is fairly clear. It is described as you are guilty of NY PL 215.50(3) if you intentionally disobey a mandate of a court. While there is a codified exception referencing cases concerning labor disputes, in the criminal realm those matters are few and far between while having little or nothing to do with domestic offenses. If you disobey the mandate of the court, for example, violate the order of protection or restraining order, you will face up to a year in jail. Reach out to our firm today if you have any questions or concerns regarding this charge. Our skilled Rockland County criminal defense attorney is on your side.

What is a violation of an order of protection?

Keep in mind that there is no clear response to what violates a restraining order and what behavior will result in a charge of Second Degree Criminal Contempt. The language included in the order of protection against you will determine what you can and cannot do in regard to the protected party. As a result, it is extremely important that before you have any contact whatsoever with the named party in an order of protection, you speak with your attorney. It is important that you do not act first and ask questions later. It is expected that even contact from a third party on your behalf will violate an order. The last thing you want to do is inadvertently violate a restraining order and find yourself being held in custody with a substantial amount of bail.

What are common defenses to this charge?

As an initial matter, do not mistake what or who is limited or protected by an order of protection. The complainant or victim who is named on that restraining order has every right (barring a separate order or ruling from a court) to reach you. He or she can call you, text you, email you, etc. Assuming they are not performing a separate crime such as Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, their mere contact with you does not disobey the order or, for that matter, invalidate the order. If, however, you engage them, contact them back, etc., because of the “strict liability” spirit of NY PL 215.50(3), you can violate the order. While the protected party may claim they would never turn you into the police, as Assistant District Attorneys and prosecutors we have witnessed countless occasions where the protected party days or weeks later had done that. Again, if you make contact in violation of the restraining order you can face up to a year in jail.

Contact our experienced Rockland County firm

Those facing criminal charges in New York need a strong criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. Call today or contact The Law Office of Carl Spector online to schedule a free confidential consultation.