Criminal Nonsupport Handbook
Since December 2002, local prosecutors, working with the OAG, have indicted 263 parents for criminal nonsupport. Of these parents, the vast majority accepted plea bargains, and one indictment was dismissed at the request of the custodial parent.
Criminal nonsupport prosecutions act as a deterrent by showing that parents must support their children or face severe consequences. The OAG is ready to assist prosecutors in raising public awareness about local indictments and convictions.
The greatest impact comes from convictions as opposed to deferred adjudication. By the time the OAG recommends a case to a prosecutor, the obligor has had many opportunities to support his or her child, up to and including contempt. A conviction also allows the matter to be raised in subsequent civil enforcement actions.
Part of any plea bargain should be restitution. To ensure the obligor's restitution payments are properly credited against the child support arrears and are properly distributed to the custodial parent, the payments must eventually be directed to the SDU and specifically identified.
Continue to SAMPLE OF CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT JURY CHARGE
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