To help you understand why a warrant was issued for your arrest, below we are explaining the process the court generally follows that leads up to this point as well as what you should do when faced with such circumstances.
Child support is expected to help cover the costs of daily necessities for your child (i.e. food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc.) and it serves a very important purpose. Sometimes, though, it can get a parent into serious trouble with the law when the terms set forth in the child support order are not met. When a parent is reported to the Friend of the Court for failing to satisfy their child support obligations, there are a number of consequences they might face, one of which is having a warrant issued for their arrest.
Generally, before a warrant is issued, a parent who has not paid child support may be ordered to appear before the court for a “show cause hearing” to explain why he or she should not be held in contempt [Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services]. For those who are faced with these circumstances, it is especially important that you are represented by a skilled Lansing, MI criminal defense attorney who can prepare you for this so that you are not held in contempt. When a person is held in contempt, they are said to have violated one or more laws which would then result in penalties being imposed.
What happens if I don’t show up to the show cause hearing?
When an individual fails to attend the show cause hearing, the court may take action to remedy the situation and issue a bench warrant for the individual’s arrest. Under certain circumstances, the Friend of the Court may choose to refer the case to the county prosecutor or the Attorney General who then might charge him or her with the crime of felony non-support. Usually, a parent will not be charged with felony non-support until other methods of collecting the support have been attempted.
Now, if your case has escalated to this point and you have recently learned that a warrant has been issued for your arrest, you are going to want to contact the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. to speak Lansing, MI criminal defense lawyer Stuart R. Shafer who can guide you and provide you with the legal advice you might be seeking. There are many reasons for why a parent is unable to provide the child support the court has ordered him or her to pay and we are here to help the court understand what your reasoning is for failing to meet this obligation.
The fact is, having a criminal conviction on your record can impact your life in a number of different ways not to mention it can be rather costly as well. If you are experiencing a financial strain in your life that has impacted your ability to pay child support, the last thing you need is to be ordered to pay additional money in court costs and fines. So, to increase your chances of avoiding a criminal conviction, we encourage you to contact our office today so that we may begin helping you.
The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. is available to assist anyone facing a criminal charge in the following cities:
- East Lansing
- Grand Ledge
The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C.is located at:
1223 Turner Street, #333
Lansing, MI 48906