INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Repeat offenders who don’t pay child support will face greater penalties in Indiana.
Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation this week to make repeated criminal nonsupport of a child punishable by two to eight years in prison.
Previous law only allowed such sentences for those owing more than $15,000 in back child support.
Other changes give judges more flexibility in lowering sentences if offenders pay their overdue support and serve probation. A lesser sentence also means judges have the option to clear offenders’ records.
Attorneys who specialize in family law say keeping a felony charge off someone’s record could help offenders find jobs and ultimately provide reliable support for their children.