Endangering the Welfare of a Child
Trenton Endangering the Welfare of a Child Defense Attorney
New Jersey’s child endangerment law is meant to cover many different types of conduct. Offenses such as child abuse, child neglect, child sexual abuse, severe punishment of a child, and driving while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle all fall under the umbrella of “endangering the welfare of a child.” In addition, possession child pornography and distribution of child pornography also fall under New Jersey’s endangering statute. Accordingly, if you are charged with this offense Trenton, Hightstown, East Windsor, Ewing, Hamilton or another municipality of Mercer County, you need to obtain top-notch representation by an attorney who has dealt with the host of circumstances covered by the endangerment law. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have decades experience representing clients facing a charge for child endangerment at the Mercer County Superior Court located in Trenton. Contact us now at at 609-683-8102 for a free consultation with a skilled lawyer.
The Offense of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in Mercer County
The New Jersey endangering statute, at N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4, has two main sections. The first section, 2C:24-4a(1), deals with sexual conduct involving a child. The second section, 2C:24-4a(2), deals with harm to a child typically through abuse or neglect. Please note that a child, for purposes of this offense, is someone under the age of 18. The headings below discuss the significant parts of each section.
1. Sexual conduct to impair a child’s morals. It is a crime to engage “in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child.” The seriousness of the offense depends upon what responsibility the person has for the child. It is a second-degree crime if the accused is the child’s parent or guardian, i.e., any person “having a legal duty for the care of a child or who has assumed responsibility for the care of a child.” Otherwise it is a third-degree crime.
2. Child abuse or neglect. It is also a crime to cause a child “harm that would make the child an abused or neglected child” as defined by New Jersey law. As with the above, it is a second-degree crime if the person accused of abuse or neglect is the child’s parent or guardian. Otherwise it is a third-degree crime.
Penalties for Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The offense of endangering is considered either a second- or third-degree crime. The penalty for a second-degree crime is 5 to 10 years imprisonment and a fine up to $150,000. The penalty for a third-degree crime is 3 to 5 years imprisonment and a fine up to $15,000. In addition, a conviction for endangering the welfare of a child could include registration requirements under Megan’s Law. Those requirements, such as notifying those in your community of the offense, could last well beyond other punishments imposed for the offense.
West Windsor Endangering the Welfare of a Child Lawyer
Endangering the welfare of a child is a serious offense, covering many types of improper behavior. It is also an offense that carries substantial prison time and other penalties depending on the circumstances. If you are faced with an endangerment charge in Lawrence, West Windsor, Princeton, Pennington, or Robbinsville, one of your most important objectives is to minimize your criminal exposure and avoid the most severe penalties listed in the statute. To do that, you need a lawyer who can aggressively advocate on your behalf. There may be many options in downgrading an offense away from the second- and third-degree penalties mentioned above and the attorneys on our staff are adapt in succeeding in this objective. Call the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall at 609-683-8102 to get a knowledgeable attorney who knows the court system, and who knows how to provide the best defense possible.
We serve clients throughout Mercer County, New Jersey — including Trenton, Hamilton, Princeton Borough, West Windsor, East Windsor, Lawrence Township, Robbinsville, Hightstown, Princeton Township, Ewing and Hopewell — and surrounding areas, including Hunterdon County and Burlington County.