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Sarah, a witness, began acting obnoxious and belligerent when she was being cross-examined in court. Angry that her testimony was being questioned, she began ignoring the material questions and posting questions of her own. The judge gave her several verbal warnings before deeming her in contempt of court. In this case, Sarah was not a criminal who was under trial. However, she did agree to be a witness and respect the authority of the court of justice as well as the judge, prosecution, and legal defense teams involved. Her disrespectful and combative behavior while on the witness stand do rise to the status of being in contempt.
Valerie was a witness to a violent attack and was scared to get involved at all. Nevertheless, she had been the person who called the cops and got the perpetrator arrested. She agreed to testify in a criminal trial. Unfortunately, she got cold feet when the time came to sit on the witness stand. She refused to be sworn in as a witness during the criminal trial. Although Valerie got nervous, she was still obligated to testify after having made legal statements and agreeing to appear on the witness stand. Her refusal to being sworn in as a witness during this criminal trial is enough to rise to the level of contempt of court under PC 166.
A judge orders witnesses to corporate fraud, Rhea and Frank, to stay away from each other until the criminal trial is concluded. This court order was issued to prevent any witness tampering and/or conflict of interest, which included talking about the on-going trial with one another. Frank was romantically interested in Rhea and decided to ask her out anyway. She agreed and they went out to lunch together. Unfortunately, they revealed details about the trial and were overheard by several people, including a journalist. Their conversation also involved conjecture about the case, assumptions that were voiced without supportive evidence to back it. Simple actions like this can result in contempt of court charges under PC 166. Especially when the judge specifically outlined the terms of the court order and they had initially agreed to follow them. Rhea and Frank violated the court orders for failing to stay away from each other and for talking about the trial in a public place where their discussion was easily overheard.