Did you know that you can be charged with a felony for not paying child support? That is right, criminal non support charges in Utah can lead to a felony and the possibility of jail time. We have represented clients on both sides of this issues. One the one hand, we have helped those who are reliant on support form a spouse and who have not been able to obtain child support or spousal support get relief and pursue their interests both on the civil and criminal side. On the other hand, we have represented those individuals charged with criminal non support or facing an order to show cause who have just not had the means to reasonably comply either because they were fired from a job or because despite their best efforts could not obtain employment for an extended period of time.
Misdemeanor v. Felony
A charge of criminal non support is a class a misdemeanor unless one of the following circumstances applies: (1) the defendant has prior conviction for criminal no support; (2) the defendant committed the offense while residing outside of Utah; or (3) does not provide support for 18 months out of 24 and the back child support owed is $10,000 or more. Under any of the 3 circumstances mentioned above, the individual maybe charged with a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor. It is therefore, extremely important to have a criminal defense lawyer review your case if such charges are brought against you.
Defenses to Criminal Non Support
It is an affirmative defense if the Defendant is unable to provide support. However, this defense is not as easy to prove as it may seem at first. The statute specifically states that voluntary unemployment or underemployment is not sufficient to establish lack of ability as a defense. This means you cannot purposefully not work or earn an income just to avoid child support and family financial obligations. If the person accused can establish they, through no fault of their own, were simply unable to provide the ordered support, they may be able to overcome the charge. If the accused wishes to assert the defense of inability, they must give notice of their intent to do so within a prescribed time period prior trial. Therefore, it is extremely important you speak with a Utah Child Support Lawyer at our law office as soon as possible if you wish to fight such charges.
Utah Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you find yourself facing a criminal non support charge in Utah, call and speak with one of the Utah Criminal Defense Attorneys through Salcido Law Firm immediately. We can help you defend these charges. Call anytime at 801.618.1331.