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NY Penal Law § 260.06: Non-support of a Child in the First Degree

July 5, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

If you fail to provide financial support for your child, you risk getting convicted of a crime and being sent to jail.  In order to prosecute you for non-support of a child in the first degree under New York Penal Law § 260.06 you must have been convicted of non-support of a child in the second degree within the previous 5 years and you also are:

  1. A parent, a guardian or other individual legally charged with the care or custody of a minor child who is younger than 16 years old, and you neglect to provide that support without a lawful excuse; or
  2. A parent, a guardian or other individual legally obligated to make child support payments by an order of the court for a child who is younger than 18 years old, and you neglect to do so without a lawful excuse.

An Example

Once again, Pete was 3 months behind in his child support payments. His ex-girlfriend, the mother of his child, pleaded with him month after month to make his payments. Pete was constantly telling her that he did not have the money. His ex-girlfriend reminded him of the year before, when he had stopped paying and ended up being convicted of non-support of a child in the second degree. At last, when he was 5 months in arrears, his ex-girlfriend put in a call to the authorities. In this scenario, Pete would face a charge of non-support of a child in the first degree since he has, within the previous 5 years, already been convicted of non-support of a child in the second degree. Just claiming that he does not have the money is not a legally acceptable excuse for neglecting to pay child support.

Offenses that are Related

Non-support of a child in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 260.05

Abandonment of a child: New York Penal Law § 260.00

Possible Defenses

To successfully prosecute you on the charge of non-support of a child in the first degree, the prosecutor has to prove that you are capable of making your child support payments, but you  are unwilling to do so. If you can provide the court a lawful excuse for your failure to pay, then you have not violated the statute.

The Sentence

Non-support of a child in the second degree is categorized as a class E felony. If you get convicted, you could be sentenced to a prison term of up to 4 years or placed on probation for 5 years.

NY Penal Law § 260.05: Non-support of a Child in the Second Degree

In New York, the legislation regarding supporting children is quite simple. It states that if you have a child, you are legally obligated to financially support that child. If you fail to do so, you may have committed a crime. The act of non-support of a child is a criminal charge generally applied to individuals who neglect to pay child support in obedience of a court order. If you neglect to make your child support payments, you could be looking at a charge of non-support of a child in the first or second degree.  In order to prosecute you for non-support of a child in the second degree under New York Penal Law § 260.05, you must be a parent, legal guardian, or other individual who is legally responsible for the care and upkeep of a child and you must have failed to or refused to provide support for your child without an excuse, or you must have purposely rendered yourself incapable of supporting your child.

An Example

A father voluntarily agreed to make child support payments in the amount of $85 per week as part of his judgment of divorce. He made his payments consistently for 2 years. Then, a time came when he decided that he no longer wanted to pay child support and stopped making his payments. This father could be looking at a charge of non-support of a child in the second degree since there is no real justification for him neglecting to pay child support.

Offenses that are Related

Abandonment of a child: New York Penal Law § 260.00

Non-support of a child in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 260.06

Possible Defenses

In order to successfully prosecute you for non-support of a child in the second degree, the assistant district attorney needs to bring evidence that you are able to provide the ordered support for the child, but that you are unwilling to, or that you took some sort of action to make yourself unable to provide support. If you can demonstrate to the court that, due to no fault of your own, you are indeed unable to provide support to the child, then you have not violated the statute.

The Sentence

Non-support of a child in the second degree is categorized as a class A misdemeanor. If you get convicted, you could be sentenced to a jail term of up to a year or placed on probation for 3 years.

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