Section 42 Crimes Act 1900 | Injuries to Child at Time of Birth


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Perhaps the most serious ‘child neglect’ offence; section 42 of the Crimes Act deals with situations where you inflict injuries upon a child either before, during or after the birth of a child.

Examples include attempts to procure an abortion illegally by inflicting injury upon an unborn child.

You may also be charged under this section where you attempt to injure a child soon after its birth. It will not matter whether or not the child has been fully born or not.

If you are found guilty under section 42, you could face a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.

The Legislation

Section 42 deals with the offence of “Injuries to Child at Time of Birth” and reads as follows:

42 Injuries to Child at Time of Birth

Whosoever, during or after the delivery of a child, intentionally or recklessly inflicts on such child, whether then wholly born or not, any grievous bodily harm, shall be liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

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.