While many people today are familiar with bail bonds, not many people have a solid understanding of bench warrants, or what it means to be in contempt of court. In Kansas, a judge can hold you in contempt of court for a variety of reasons, and when that happens, your judge can issue a bench warrant for your arrest. A bench warrant is when a judge release a written order authorizing your arrest for anything from contempt of court to certain misdemeanors.
A judge can issue a bench warrant for indirect contempt if the defendant commits contempt against the court outside of the courtroom. Examples of indirect contempt include contact with the jurors, failure to pay child support ordered by the court, or failure to present required evidence.
One of the most common forms, direct contempt applies to any disruptions, disobedience, or offensive behavior inside the courtroom. For example, interruptions, inappropriate language, or verbal attacks are all possible ways to be held in contempt of court.
Criminal and Civil Contempt
Commonly found in cases of family law, civil contempt is often applied to situations where the defendant is discovered hiding information from the judge, such as hidden assets in the case of a divorce. If you are held in civil contempt, you can be punished with jail time. However, compliance with the court is usually enough to avoid this jail time. Criminal contempt applies to similar situations, but in criminal contempt charges, jail time is often unavoidable, whether the defendant complies or not.