Attorney Roberts successfully argued that requested sentencing in a failure to pay child support case represented an improper ex post facto application of the law to his client's situation.
(Raleigh, NC) Despite a 2000 plea agreement to a felony charge of willful failure to pay child support, federal criminal defense lawyer Patrick Roberts of Roberts Law Group, PLLC, was able to successfully argue for a mitigated prison sentence and period of supervision on behalf of his client, former basketball star Kenneth Williams.
Williams had been ordered to pay monthly child support for his three children. The amount of monthly support was based on a career he'd established playing professional basketball, but did not account for fluctuations in pay Williams experienced that left him unable to meet his substantial child support obligations.
On August 23, 2000, Kenneth Williams pled guilty to a federal criminal charge of willful failure to pay child support. Williams was never sentenced on that guilty plea; he requested a continuance of his sentencing hearing and moved overseas to continue his professional basketball career. By the time he was arrested in March 2013, Williams was considered a fugitive after failing to appear for sentencing in August 2001. At the time, Williams was not represented by Roberts Law Group, PLLC.
In arguing for a reduced sentence, Raleigh defense lawyer Patrick Roberts successfully asserted that Williams should not be subject to an ex post facto application of current law to an incident controlled by prior law. Despite language in the 2000 plea agreement that indicated the failure to pay child support was a felony, Roberts asserted that the agreement was in error based on the law in effect at the time of the offense, which classified the failure to pay child support as a misdemeanor punishable by no more than six months in prison. The government sought the maximum punishment of 24 months under the current law.
Williams was ultimately sentenced to nine months in prison with credit for time already served.
Patrick Roberts is the founding attorney of Roberts Law Group, PLLC. With offices in Raleigh, Wilmington and Charlotte, the firm offers experienced criminal defense to individuals facing state or federal charges throughout North Carolina. To learn more about North Carolina defense lawyer Patrick Roberts or about Roberts Law Group, please visit www.robertslawteam.com or call 866-630-2389.
North Carolina v. J.S.
Accusation: Indecent Exposure
Potentially Facing: 30 days in Jail
Result: Case Dismissed
Roberts Law Group acted quickly, meeting with the DA’s office to mitigate on behalf of their client, who had no prior criminal history. The Defendant had cooperated fully with the officer. At defense counsel’s prompting, the ADA spoke with his Law Enforcement Officers and determined that Defendant had been through enough already. Dismissed on the first court date.