§14:75. Failure to pay child support obligation
A. This law may be cited as the “Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of Louisiana”.
B. It shall be unlawful for any obligor to intentionally fail to pay a support obligation for any child who resides in the state of Louisiana, if such obligation has remained unpaid for a period longer than six months or is greater than two thousand five hundred dollars.
C. (1) For a first offense, the penalty for failure to pay a legal child support obligation shall be a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
(2) For a second or subsequent offense, the penalty for failure to pay a legal child support obligation shall be a fine of not more than twenty-five hundred dollars or imprisonment with or without hard labor for not more than two years, or both.
(3) Upon a conviction under this statute, the court shall order restitution in an amount equal to the total unpaid support obligation as it exists at the time of sentencing.
(4) In any case in which restitution is made prior to the time of sentencing, except for a second or subsequent offense, the court may suspend all or any portion of the imposition or execution of the sentence otherwise required in this Subsection.
(5) The penalty for failure to pay a legal child support obligation when the amount of the arrearage is more than fifteen thousand dollars and the obligation has been outstanding for at least one year shall be a fine of not more than twenty-five hundred dollars, or imprisonment with or without hard labor for not more than two years, or both.
D. With respect to an offense under this Section, an action may be prosecuted in a judicial district court in this state in which any child who is the subject of the support obligation involved resided during a period during which an obligor failed to meet that support obligation; or the judicial district in which the obligor resided during a period described in Subsection B of this Section; or any other judicial district with jurisdiction otherwise provided for by law.
E. As used in this Section, the following terms mean:
(1) “Obligor” means any person who has been ordered to pay a support obligation in accordance with law.
(2) “Support obligation” means any amount determined by a court order or an order of an administrative process pursuant to the law of the state of Louisiana to be due from a person for the support and maintenance of a child or children.
F. It shall be an affirmative defense to any charge under this Section that the obligor was financially unable to pay the support obligation during and after the period that he failed to pay as ordered by the court.
Acts 2004, No. 801, §1; Acts 2008, No. 336, §1; Acts 2010, No. 689, §2, eff. June 29, 2010.