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222 South Central Avenue, Suite 804, Clayton, Missouri 63105
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St. Louis Criminal Nonsupport Attorney

Serving Clients in St. Louis and Surrounding Communities

In these troubled financial times, many people find it difficult to pay the debts necessary to sustain a day-to-day existence. This task becomes nearly impossible when there is an additional obligation to provide child support.

Whether the inability to provide the requisite child support arises from reduced wages or hours at work, unemployment, incarceration, or serious mental or physical health issues, prosecutors routinely ignore these realities of life in the pursuit of criminal charges against those who fail to pay child support.

While not seemingly fair, criminal charges are entirely possible because Missouri is one of several states that have enacted statutes that actually penalize an individual for the failure to provide adequate child support. This offense is called Criminal Nonsupport and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the amount of past due child support. If the past due child support is greater than a year's worth of child support payments, the crime can be charged as a felony.

In a typical case, a prosecutor will allege that the defendant committed the offense merely because they failed to pay the court-ordered child support amount to the custodial parent. However, the Whiteley Law Firm knows that this allegation ignores two important issues.

First, the statute only criminalizes the failure to provide child support, not the failure to pay the monetary equivalent of child support. The statute specifically defines "support" as food, clothing, lodging, and medical or surgical attention. Therefore, if you have provided support to your children, but have been unable to or simply neglected to pay the ordered child support amount, our criminal defense lawyers will argue that the charges cannot be proven.

Second, even if support has not been provided, financially or otherwise, Missouri law allows those charged with Criminal Nonsupport to put forth a "good cause" defense. This means that as long as there is a substantial reason why adequate support was not provided, a conviction cannot be supported. Attorney Kevin Whiteley will thoroughly investigate the facts in your case in order to determine if this defense is a viable option for you.

Because a conviction for the offense of Criminal Nonsupport may result in terms of incarceration, stiff fines, or probationary periods with further court orders to pay child support, it is important to retain the services of an attorney who knows the intricacies of the Criminal Nonsupport law. Our attorneys have handled numerous Criminal Nonsupport cases and can vigorously defend those accused of committing this criminal offense.

Call Kevin Whiteley today at the Whiteley Law Firm today to discuss the facts in your case.

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Address: 222 South Central Avenue, Suite 804, Clayton, Missouri 63105 Phone: (888) 910-8827