Section 44 Crimes Act 1900 | Failure of Persons to Provide Necessities of Life


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Section 44 is very similar to section 43A, however it deals broadly with persons ‘who are under a legal duty to provide another person with the necessities of life’ and fail to do so.

This section is not limited to the parent-child relationship and therefore creates a similar offence for others who have a duty to care for persons.

A common example is the carer of someone who suffers from a serious disability – in these cases, the carer has a legal duty to provide them with financial support, food, clothing, shelter, healthcare and education.

Where they fail to uphold these duties, they could face a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

Although the maximum penalties prescribed by the law are quite harsh, it’s important to remember that they will only apply in the most serious cases.

In many cases, with the help of a highly experienced legal team, you can avoid these harsh maximum penalties.

However, because these charges may also result in charges under child protection laws, which can potentially result in the removal of your children from your care, it’s important that you seek assistance from an expert criminal lawyer who you can trust to protect your reputation and family.

The Legislation

Section 44 deals with the offence of “Failure of persons to provide necessities of life” and reads as follows:

44 Failure of persons to provide necessities of life

(1) A person:

(a) who is under a legal duty to provide another person with the necessities of life, and

(b) who, without reasonable excuse, intentionally or recklessly fails to provide that person with the necessities of life,

is guilty of an offence if the failure causes a danger of death or causes serious injury, or the likelihood of serious injury, to that person.

Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years.

(2) A person cannot be found guilty of both an offence against section 43A and an offence against this section in respect of the same act or omission.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, we understand how important your children are to you.

Our dedicated advocates are well-versed in criminal law and can advise you of the steps to take when it comes to fighting the charges in court.

We can help you obtain expert evidence to support your case and will work with you to develop a strong case to ensure that your liberty is best protected.

Sometimes, child neglect allegations may be made by former spouses or family members in an attempt to gain custody of the child in question.

In these cases, we can work hard to examine all the evidence to prove that you did not commit the offence and push to have the charges dropped on this basis.

Alternatively, we can also help you identify any defences or ‘reasonable excuses’ for your conduct. When raised successfully, these will result in a verdict of ‘not guilty.’

Should you wish to accept the charges against you, our criminal law specialists will fight hard to secure the most lenient penalty possible so that you can get on with your life without the charges hanging over your head.

We can help you achieve an outstanding result in your case by preparing sentencing submissions which highlight any mitigating factors that could assist your case.

We can also push to have matters heard in a lower court, where the maximum penalties are much lower.

When it comes to protecting you and your family, it’s important to get the right legal team on your side.

Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book a FREE first conference to discuss your ‘child neglect’ matter with us today.