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Criminal Law Click here for the full text of this decision Appellant’s failure to provide child support was relevant punishment evidence and does not, in itself, become an element of the offense to which he pleaded guilty. FACTS:The record reflects that a court order obligated the appellant to pay child support for his two minor children each month beginning on Oct. 1, 1988. The indictment charging appellant with criminal nonsupport alleged that “on or about” June 1, 2000, the appellant failed to pay child support for his two minor children. The appellant pleaded guilty to the offense charged in the indictment. The stipulation of evidence that appellant signed in connection with his guilty plea recites that the offense was committed “on the 1st day of June 2000.” After accepting the appellant’s plea, the trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing apparently for the purpose of determining appellant’s sentence. Evidence was presented at this hearing that the appellant’s failure to pay child support occurred “as far back as 1988, and it continued until June 1, 2000.” The trial court sentenced appellant under the current statute to two years’ confinement. On direct appeal, the appellant claimed only that his sentence and the current criminal nonsupport statute violated the Texas Constitution. The court of appeals rejected this claim but then decided on its own that the appellant’s sentence was “void.” The court of appeals decided that criminal nonsupport is a “continuing offense” and that an element of the criminal nonsupport offense in this case occurred “as far back as 1988.” Relying on a savings clause in the current statute, the court of appeals, therefore, concluded that appellant should have been sentenced under the law as it existed before the current statute was enacted in 1994. The savings clause in the current statute, in relevant part, provides that prior law controls “if any element of the offense occurs before the effective date” of the current law. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court of appeals decided and both parties seem to concede that all of the appellant’s separate acts of failing to pay child support “as far back as 1988, and [continuing] until June 1, 2000″ are but elements of one “continuing offense.” In this case, however, it is unnecessary to address whether appellant’s separate acts of failing to pay child support during this period of time are just elements of one continuing offense since the record makes clear � via the written stipulation � that appellant committed the elements of the offense on June 1, 2000, well after the 1994 change in the statute. The stipulation states that the offense occurred “on the 1st day of June 2000″ and not “on or about” the first day of June 2000, so appellant did not plead to and was not convicted of any pre-1994 conduct of failure to pay child support. The use of “on” instead of “on or about” signifies that appellant was admitting to a specific day, rather than a range of days. The evidence that appellant continuously failed to provide support “as far back as 1988″ was brought out in a hearing conducted for the purpose of determining appellant’s sentence, after appellant had already pled guilty. Appellant’s failure to provide support during this time was relevant punishment evidence and does not, in itself, become an element of the offense to which he pleaded guilty. OPINION:Hervey, J.; Keller, PJ., Meyers, Price, Johnson, Keasler, Holcomb and Cochran, JJ., join. Womack, J., concurs.

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