The law in New York regarding child support is straightforward. If you have a child, you are legally obligated to provide financial support for that child. Failure to do so may result in criminal charges. The offense of non-support of a child typically pertains to individuals who neglect to make court-ordered child support payments. Failing to fulfill these obligations can lead to charges of non-support of a child in the first or second degree.
Under New York Penal Law § 260.05, in order to be prosecuted for non-support of a child in the second degree, you must be a parent, legal guardian, or someone else legally responsible for a child’s care. You must have either failed to provide support without a valid excuse or intentionally made yourself unable to support the child.
Non-support of a child in the second degree constitutes a class A misdemeanor. In the event of a conviction, you may face a maximum sentence of one year in jail or be placed on probation for a period of three years.
To secure a successful prosecution for non-support of a child in the second degree, the assistant district attorney must demonstrate that you possess the capability to provide support for the child but are unwilling to do so, or that you intentionally took actions to render yourself incapable of offering support. However, if you can establish that your inability to provide support is beyond your control and not due to any fault of your own, you have not breached the statute.
New York Penal Law § 260.05: Non-support of a child in the second degree
An individual is considered guilty of non-support of a child when:
- They are a parent, guardian, or another individual legally responsible for the care or custody of a child under sixteen years of age. They fail or refuse, without a valid excuse, to provide support for the child when they are capable of doing so, or they become incapable of doing so. This includes instances where, even though they can work, they voluntarily terminate their employment, intentionally diminish their earning capacity, or neglect to actively seek employment.
- They are a parent, guardian, or another person obligated by a court-issued child support order for a child under eighteen years of age. They knowingly fail or refuse, without a lawful excuse, to provide support for the child when they are capable of doing so, or they become unable to do so. This encompasses situations where, despite being employable, they voluntarily terminate their employment, intentionally reduce their earning capacity, or fail to actively seek employment.
- 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
Hiring a New York Lawyer for Non-support of a child in the second degree case
Hiring a New York lawyer for a non-support of a child in the second-degree case is essential for navigating complex legal proceedings. This charge is a serious offense in New York, carrying potential penalties like fines and imprisonment. An experienced attorney can provide crucial guidance, protecting your rights and ensuring a fair legal process. They will assess the evidence, build a strong defense, and negotiate on your behalf. With their knowledge of the legal system, a New York lawyer can strive to achieve the best possible outcome, whether through a reduction of charges, alternative sentencing, or a solid defense in court, all while advocating for your rights and interests.