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

The law in New York is quite simple regarding supporting children. If you have a child, you are legally required to support that child. If you do not, you may have committed a crime. The crime of non-support of a child is generally applied to individuals who fail to pay child support pursuant to a court order. If you fail to pay child support, you could face a charge of non-support of a child in the first or second degree. Under New York Penal Law § 260.05 in order to prosecute you for non-support of a child in the second degree, you must be a parent, legal guardian, or other person who is legally responsible for the care of a child and you must have failed to or refused to support a child without an excuse, or you must have purposely rendered yourself unable to support the child.

Example

A father voluntarily agreed to pay child support in the amount of $85 per week pursuant to a divorce judgment. He did so for 2 years. He then decided that he no longer wanted to pay child support and stopped paying. This father could face a charge of non-support of a child in the second degree since there is no justification for him failing to pay child support.

Related Offenses
  1. Abandonment of a child: New York Penal Law § 260.00
  2. Non-support of a child in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 260.06
Defenses

In order to successfully prosecute you for non-support of a child in the second degree, the assistant district attorney must prove that you able to support the child, but that you are unwilling to, or that you did something to make yourself unable to provide support. If you can show 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.

Sentence

Non-support of a child in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor. If you are convicted you could be sent to jail for up to a year or placed on probation for 3 years.

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

A person is guilty of non-support of a child when: 1. being a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a child less than sixteen years old, he or she fails or refuses without lawful excuse to provide support for such child when he or she is able to do so, or becomes unable to do so, when, though employable, he or she voluntarily terminates his or her employment, voluntarily reduces his or her earning capacity, or fails to diligently seek employment; or 2. being a parent, guardian or other person obligated to make child support payments by an order of child support entered by a court of competent jurisdiction for a child less than eighteen years old, he or she knowingly fails or refuses without lawful excuse to provide support for such child when he or she is able to do so, or becomes unable to do so, when, though employable, he or she voluntarily terminates his or her employment, voluntarily reduces his or her earning capacity, or fails to diligently seek employment.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

While you may have many reasons why you feel that you cannot or should not pay child support, if you do not pay as ordered you could be charged with a crime and end up in jail. If you have been charged with non-support of a child in the second degree, it is important that you are represented by someone with experienced. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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