A responsibility of a parent is to provide the necessary support of a child. When this support is not given in an intentional fashion, then it’s considered non-support in the first degree. The person who is charged with the crime could be the parent, a guardian or another person who is legally responsible for the well-being of the child. There are a few elements that are considered before charges are given. One is that the child must be 16 years of age or younger. The parent or guardian must refuse to provide support without a lawful or reasonable excuse.
Not paying child support that is ordered by a court is also considered non-support of a child. The legal age requirement is 18 when it comes to non-payment of child support. Prosecutors will often enforce charges in the first-degree for those who have had the same charge or similar issues within the prior five years compared to those who haven’t dealt with non-support in the past. This charge is considered a class E felony. Because the crime is a felony, the punishment can be a bit more severe than a misdemeanor. Punishment could include time spent in jail up to four years and fines to be paid that would be used for the support of the child. The support that is being withheld from the child could include monetary support, food, adequate shelter or water. If the child is not supported in any way and the parent or guardian is in the home, then this would constitute charges being filed regardless of how minor the issue would be in the home.
Examples Of Non-Support
An example would be that a father is behind on child support payments. The mother of the child asks that the father pay the amount that is owed so that the child is taken care of in the proper manner. The father claims to not have the money for the payment, and the mother contacts the proper authorities to have something done about not complying with the order. The father would then face charges of non-support because of not abiding by the order that was issued for the support of the child.
Another example would be when parents live in the same home with the child and don’t provide physical support needed for the child. The parents might make the child live in a home that doesn’t have food in the refrigerator or running water. Parents of a child who don’t provide clean clothing or provide a way for the child to get to school would also be charged with non-support.
Many parents believe that not working or not having enough money would be a defense used for non-support. This is typically not an excuse that will hold up in court. A NYC criminal lawyer can examine the evidence that is presented about not supporting the child, possibly forcing the prosecution to prove that support has not been given. A common defense is that the child isn’t biologically the defendant’s and that there is no financial obligation. The defendant might not have known about the child to provide support in the first place. Those who are ordered to pay support might directly give money to the custodial parent instead of sending it to the state agency.
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