The duty to pay spousal support or child support is often a difficult obligation to meet each month given the current state of the job market and economy. Increasingly, individuals across Missouri are finding themselves in jail for failing to pay spousal support or child support. This doesn’t have to be you. If you are facing a criminal non-support charge, you need an aggressive St. Louis criminal non-support attorney who will fight for you.
In Missouri, a person commits the crime of non-support if he or she knowingly fails to provide, without good cause, adequate support for his or her spouse. A parent commits the crime of non-support if such parent knowingly fails to provide, without good cause, adequate support which such parent is legally obligated to provide for his or her child or stepchild who is not otherwise emancipated by operation of law.
Criminal non-support can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense. Criminal non-support is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the total arrearage is in excess of an aggregate of twelve monthly payments due under any order of support issued by the court or any authorized administrative agency, in which case it is a Class E felony.
Whether you have been charged with misdemeanor or felony non-support, you are facing serious consequences, which may include a period of incarceration, stiff fines, restitution, and probation.
There are many possible defenses to a criminal non-support charge. Under Missouri law, an individual may demonstrate “good cause” to defeat a charge of criminal non-support. Good cause can include any substantial reason why he or she is unable to provide adequate support. At Henderson Law Group we will carefully and thoroughly investigate all the facts of your case to find our best defense.
Whether you have been unable to pay your support obligation or simply ignored your obligation, the St. Louis criminal non-support lawyers of Henderson Law Group will vigorously protect your rights and defend your freedom. Contact our office today for a free consultation.