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Failing to Provide the Necessities of Life

Failure to Provide the Necessities of Life is an offence under Section 44 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You were under a legal duty to provide another with the ‘necessities of life’
  2. You intentionally or recklessly failed to provide the person with the necessities of life
  3. Your failure caused serious injury to, or created the likelihood of serious injury to, or endangered the life of, the person to whom you had a legal duty, and
  4. You did not have a ‘reasonable excuse’ for your conduct

Necessities of life include:

  1. Sufficient nutrition,
  2. Shelter, and
  3. Required medical care

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress, and
  2. Necessity

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