Canadian Criminal Sentencing/Offences/Failing to Provide the Necessities of Life
|Failing to Provide the Necessities of Life|
|s. 215 of the Crim. Code|
|Election / Plea|
|Jurisdiction||Prov. Court |
SC Judge + PI (I)
SC Jury + PI (I) (536(2))
|Minimum||18 months jail|
|Maximum||5 years jail|
|Offence Elements |
Duty of persons to provide necessaries
215. (1) Every one is under a legal duty
- (a) as a parent, foster parent, guardian or head of a family, to provide necessaries of life for a child under the age of sixteen years;
- (b) to provide necessaries of life to their spouse or common-law partner; and
- (c) to provide necessaries of life to a person under his charge if that person
- (i) is unable, by reason of detention, age, illness, mental disorder or other cause, to withdraw himself from that charge, and
- (ii) is unable to provide himself with necessaries of life.
(2) Every one commits an offence who, being under a legal duty within the meaning of subsection (1), fails without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, to perform that duty, if
- (a) with respect to a duty imposed by paragraph (1)(a) or (b),
- (i) the person to whom the duty is owed is in destitute or necessitous circumstances, or
- (ii) the failure to perform the duty endangers the life of the person to whom the duty is owed, or causes or is likely to cause the health of that person to be endangered permanently; or
- (b) with respect to a duty imposed by paragraph (1)(c), the failure to perform the duty endangers the life of the person to whom the duty is owed or causes or is likely to cause the health of that person to be injured permanently.
(3) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (2)
- (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
- (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 215; 1991, c. 43, s. 9; 2000, c. 12, ss. 93, 95; 2005, c. 32, s. 11.
General Principles for Offences against Children
Offences of violence against children by their parents requires a strong response due to their inability to defend themselves and the fiduciary duty towards them.
The most important factors to consider is the child's exposure to harm and the forseeability of the harm.
- use of weapon or confinement (Nickel)
- use of potentially harmful substances such as drugs or alcohol (Nickel)
- involvement of third parties (Nickel)
- multiplicity of victims or offences over time (Nickel)
- R. v. Nickel, 2012 ABCA 158 at 36
The range for a first time offender where the offence concerns the neglect of the elderly will often be between 4 and 8 months.
R. v. Peterson, 2005 CanLII 37972 (ON CA) at 59
c.f. R. v. L.S., 2012 ONCA 203 at 1
- R v ET, 2012 SKQB 169 - 3 years - aboriginal offender