Texas Penal Code 25.05 – Criminal Nonsupport
WHAT IS CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT IN TEXAS?
Criminal nonsupport is failing to support one’s child as required. The existence of a court order requiring child support is relevant to the determination of the appropriate level of support, but it is not absolute.
WHAT IS THE CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 25.05. CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT.
(a) An individual commits an offense if the individual intentionally or knowingly fails to provide support for the individual’s child younger than 18 years of age, or for the individual’s child who is the subject of a court order requiring the individual to support the child.
. . .
(c) Under this section, a conviction may be had on the uncorroborated testimony of a party to the offense.
(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor could not provide support for the actor’s child.
(e) The pendency of a prosecution under this section does not affect the power of a court to enter an order for child support under the Family Code.
(f) An offense under this section is a state jail felony.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT IN TEXAS?
Criminal nonsupport is a state jail felony, punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail facility.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for criminal nonsupport, a state jail felony, is between 180 days and two years in a state jail facility, and a maximum $10,000 fine.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT IN TEXAS?
A person charged with criminal nonsupport may be placed on probation after a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction, for a period between two and five years.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT IN TEXAS?
An affirmative defense to criminal nonsupport is one’s inability to pay. A person may not be convicted of a crime based on his or her indigent status, but it is the person’s burden to prove he or she cannot pay child support.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for criminal nonsupport, a state jail felony, is three years.
CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT IN TEXAS
A parent has an ongoing duty to support his or her child. Criminal nonsupport is a continuing offense, committed not by any single overt act, but by a recurring period of omission or neglect.
TEXAS CRIMINAL NONSUPPORT COURT CASES
The case law regarding criminal nonsupport in Texas shows a common pattern of parents failing to pay their court-ordered child support payments over time, claiming they are unable to pay.
- In Matlock v. State, the defendant did not pay child support for nearly a decade. At his criminal nonsupport trial, he asserted he was unable to pay. The defendant claimed he was either in jail or rehab at the relevant times, which limited his ability to find work. However, the jury heard credible evidence that the defendant had a college degree, was working, but bought drugs instead of paying child support. The appellate court upheld his conviction, explaining the jury was free to disregard his inability-to-pay affirmative defense.
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WE FIGHT FOR DISMISSAL
WE FIGHT FOR DISMISSAL
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15
Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+
Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.
Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.
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