Elizabeth NJ Child Endangerment Attorney
Lawyer for Endangering the Welfare of a Child in Union County, New Jersey
Endangering the welfare of a child is a very serious criminal offense in New Jersey. These charges are considered indictable felony crimes and therefore are handled at the Superior Court level by the County Prosecutor’s Office. A conviction can mean exposure to years in state prison and even Meghan’s Law registration. An experienced criminal defense attorney can work with the prosecution and challenge the allegations against you to lower your charges or even ultimately get them dismissed. At the Proetta & Oliver we have successfully defended thousands of criminal charges in New Jersey including endangering the welfare of a child. We represent clients throughout Union County and surrounding areas including Roselle Park, Scotch Plains, Clark, Kenilworth, Plainfield, and Westfield. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, then contact our office at (908) 838-0150 to speak with an experienced criminal lawyer who can answer your questions and address your concerns during a free consultation.
New Jersey Child Endangerment Law 2C:24-4
The New Jersey statute for endangering the welfare of a child is found under section 2C:24-4 of the criminal law and has been provided below for your reading convenience:
Any person having a legal duty for the care of a child or who has assumed responsibility for the care of a child who engages in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child, or who causes the child harm that would make the child an abused or neglected child as defined in R.S. 9:6-1, R.S. 9:6-3 and P.L. 1974, c. 119, § 1 is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Any other person who engages in conduct or who causes harm as described in this subsection to a child under the age of 16 is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
As stated in the above statute, endangering the welfare of a child in New Jersey can be a second degree or a third degree offense, depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime. A second degree crime is more serious and carries a presumption of imprisonment with a range of five (5) to ten (10) years in prison. A third degree offense, although still serious, contains no presumption of imprisonment for a first time offender. However, if the facts are egregious or you have a prior record, a judge does not have to sentence in accordance with any presumption of non-incarceration and a third degree felony carries three (3) to five (5) years of prison time.
What is Child Endangerment in New Jersey?
Below we have listed different types of acts that can constitute endangering the welfare of a child. However, most of these are general acts and there are other actions that can lead to child endangerment that are not included.
- Child pornography
- Child molestation
- Child abuse
- Child neglect
- Sexual assault
- Statutory Rape (with a minor under the age of 16 years old)
- Driving while intoxicated while a minor is in the vehicle
- Using a minor to help commit a crime
Endangering the Welfare of a Child Lawyer in Linden, New Jersey
In addition to the penalties listed above, a conviction for endangering the welfare of a child can also include Megan’s Law registration requirements depending on the alleged circumstances of the crime. Megan’s Law can be a nightmare for defendants to deal with and act as a haunting reminder of your past. You will be required to register in an internet database (which is open to the public) and notifications will be sent to your community, your neighborhood, and your place of employment. Under some circumstances, you may be eligible to be removed from registration after fifteen (15) years. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us at (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.