Our son was with his supervisors and entered a private school to make a presentation to the directors. When he and his supervisors entered the building, they were greeted in the foyer and told the meeting was cancelled because of inclement weather. He and his supervisors left together and went back to their office. They were for 5 minutes. He left at the end of the day for home.
The following morning he was asked to meet with his supervisors. In the meeting, they explained that the police had come to the office looking for him, Stating he had violated his order. He immediately went to the local police, with one of his supervisors and explained what happened. He had no idea he was in violation. The officer listened and advised him to contact the investigating officer when he was on shift. He was given the officers number. Later that evening, he called the officer. The officer took his statement over the phone. That was it.
Now over a month and a half later he received a summons to appear in court for his arraignment. What does he do? He did not know he was violating the order, it was unintentional and he was with 2 supervisors as witnesses. What should he plead?
Without knowing exactly what the Order says, I can only give a general answer. When you violate an Order of the Court, you will be brought in to Court to show cause as to why you should not be held in contempt. This is civil contempt, and would not be a separate charge from the case the original order came from, and therefore, there would be no summons or arraignment. Criminal contempt would be a separate charge and come with a summons and arraignment. If this is a criminal contempt charge, please seek further advice from a criminal lawyer. However, violation of a court order is civil contempt and still part of the original case of the Order. Civil Contempt must be willful, so you cannot commit civil contempt by accident. If he did not know that he was doing an act in violation of the Order, he cannot be in contempt. The best thing to do is find a lawyer to help him get through this experience.
I am an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of North Carolina. Unless we have both signed a formal retainer agreement you are not my client, and my discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of those who hold other opinions.
Most crimes can be committed only with some level of mens rea (intentionally, recklessly, knowingly, or negligently). Your son should retain a good lawyer in the area of criminal defense.
[In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship.]
Was he aware of the court order before he came to the school? Was he aware that the protected person is at the school? If he was aware of both, he may have troubles.
He should not have gone to the police station. As a general rule, a person accused of a crime should exercise the person's right to remain silent, to not incriminate oneself, and to have the person's attorney present with the person while being interrogated by law enforcement.
"What should he plead?" He should plead "not guilty" and exercise his rights. He should hire a private attorney or apply for a public defender.
He should not talk about the specific facts of his case with any, including you, except with his attorney or the attorney's employees doing their job.
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