Is it illegal to swear in court?
4 attorney answers
Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote 40 years ago in Cohen v. California, “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric" when he decided that an individual had a First Amendment right to wear a jacket bearing the words “Fu*k the Draft.” However it is much better to use language you won't get yourself arrested over for contempt, disorderly conduct etc. etc. It's just as easy to say "this is a sack of rubbish", "a bag of blarney", "a heap of horse manure" and "utter bovine fecal matter", although I would recommend something more respectful for a court of law.
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If the judge makes it so, yes. contempt of court.
Ever see the movie 'My Cousin Vinny', and the judge throwing the lawyer in jail every night--contempt of court.
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If you are a witness and are asked a question, then you must respond. If the response is a curse repeating was was said to you, then it is okay. Just cursing in a courtroom may result in you being held in contempt of court for being disrespectful to the judge. You may be placed on handcuffs and be held on the back. You should either say nothing or act respectfully when in a courtroom.
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The Judge could hold you in contempt of court. I guess it could also be Disorderly Conduct under Penal Law section 240.20(3):
A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof:
3. In a public place, he uses abusive or obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture.
I have not researched whether the charge would stick or not. The best course of action is not to swear in court.
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