Criminal Nonsupport

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.

What Sets Us Apart From The Rest?

Whiteley Law Firm is here to help you get the results you need with a team you can trust.

  • Accessible Support

    We make it easy for you to reach out and discuss your case, offering multiple avenues including phone, voicemail, online submission, and office visits for your convenience.

  • Trusted Advocacy
    We understand the gravity of your situation and are committed to earning your trust through unwavering dedication to your defense.
  • Thorough Defense Strategy
    Our approach involves a meticulous evaluation of your case, ensuring every possible defense avenue is explored to protect your rights.


Have questions? We are here to help. Still have questions or can't find the answer you need? Give us a call at 888-910-8827 today!

  • Can I represent myself?
    Yes. Although the right is not unlimited, in every criminal prosecution, the accused must be permitted to act as his or her own attorney. However, the better question is whether you should represent yourself. To that question, the answer is undeniably no. For more information on why a criminal defendant should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, please read more here.
  • What if I am guilty?

    Although your thoughts on guilt or innocence of the charges against you are important, it is only one factor that should be considered in how to dispose of the criminal case.

    The Whiteley Law Firm is committed to ensuring that those charged with criminal offenses receive a result that is in their best interest. In doing so, we always ensure that the conduct of the police has been proper and the prosecution can meet their burden of proof.

  • Will my case be dismissed if the police did not read me my Miranda rights?

    The continued popularity and proliferation of crime drama television shows perpetuates the idea that the police must advise the suspect of his or her Miranda rights immediately upon being arrested. This television show concept, however, is a myth. The police are under no obligation to inform someone of their constitutional rights once placed in custody.

    The Miranda warnings – generally, the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney – take their name from the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court decision of the same name, Miranda v. Arizona. The landmark decision requires law enforcement officials to inform individuals in custody of their rights prior to any questioning. In other words, with some limited exceptions, Miranda warnings are only required when the police interrogate someone while they are in custody.

    Given these two requirements, the question whether a case will be dismissed can become a complex question. Suffice it to say, while complete dismissal of the case is not impossible, the more likely result from a Miranda violation would be suppression of the illegally obtained evidence.

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