Not only can an experienced criminal defense attorney help clients present an effective defense, but a lawyer can also help clients from getting into hot water while they're at trial.
An attorney could have advised, and very likely prevented trouble for three Nashua men recently cited for contempt by a Hillsborough County Superior Court judge. The judge said she saw the men making video recordings during a trial; recording can only be done with the permission of the court.
The three men are related to one another: a father, 49, and his two sons (their ages were not given in a media report). The judge found the trio in "direct criminal contempt" after she apparently spotted the dad and one of the sons using cell phones to record jurors.
The judge had police seize the two phones, but she also told officers not to search the devices until after a hearing is held on the contempt charges.
The father and one son were arrested in June of last year "on a series of minor charges," The Telegraph reported.
The father was allegedly making loud noises and continued to make them after police arrived. He was eventually taken into custody on a disorderly conduct charge, in addition to simple assault and resisting arrest charges.
The son was charged with similar violations, according to court documents.
The son was found guilty at trial in Nashua district court, but appealed the decision to the Superior Court. It was during that appeal process that he, his brother and his father got into trouble with the court for using cell phones to record jurors without court permission.
The son's Superior Court trial was declared a mistrial; a new trial is scheduled to begin next week.
According to Superior Court rules, no one can make video or audio recordings, or take photographs, of court proceedings without permission from the court before proceedings begin. The rule includes news media; they, too, have to get permission to make recordings.
The rule also states that no one can make recordings of jurors or take photos of them.
The three men now have attorneys to defend them at the hearing on the contempt charges.
The newspaper reported that it's not yet known who will preside over the contempt hearing. After all, the judge is the person who said she witnessed the men making the recording, so it appears someone else will have to decide on the contempt charges.
Source: The Telegraph, "Three Nashua men accused of video recording jurors during a trial, charged with contempt," by Joseph G. Cote, Nov. 2, 2013