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Following court orders is necessary or you can face more charges

It is imperative that anyone who is given a court order to follow does so perfectly. Failing to follow a court order can lead to criminal charges. Joe Arpaio, former sheriff in a Arizona, learned this the hard way.

Recently, Arpaio pleaded guilty to federal criminal contempt charges. He hasn't been sentenced yet, but his case does show that your status doesn't matter when it comes to facing charges or not.

The criminal contempt charges stem from a case in which a group of Latinos sued the sheriff for the practices he was using to alert U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when a newbie showed up to get booked into jail. He was ordered to halt certain aspects of his process, but he didn't do that.

Arpaio is best known for erecting tent city, which is full of inmates who aren't in prison. He is also known for making male inmates wear certain bright pink clothing.

As part of his defense, Arpaio claims that the order wasn't clear enough. His side of the case notes that without clarification, the order wasn't able to be corrected.

The court carefully considers the terms of orders when it gives them out. If you have a court order to follow and can't understand the rule, ask someone who is familiar with these types of documents to review it and let you know what is going on with the order.

While contempt charges aren't fun to deal with, you might be able to get started on your defense right away. These charges require that the prosecution figures out how to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. This is something that is very difficult, but it isn't impossible.

Source: CNN, "Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio found guilty of criminal contempt," Carma Hassan and Darran Simon, July 31, 2017

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