Endangering the Welfare of a Child NJ Defense Attorney

Breslow Law Offices Have Been Fighting Child Endangerment Charges For Over 45 Years.

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Child Endangerment NJ

Charges for endangering the welfare of a child can arise in a wide variety of circumstances, ranging from child abuse and neglect cases, to sexual offense cases involving the production, possession, or distribution of child pornography. In fact, these charges can even be issued in addition to violations for driving while intoxicated, if authorities believe you were operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol with your child in your car. The degree of these criminal charges are equally varied, ranging from fourth degree to first degree felonies, all of which may result in a prison sentence. Some of these offenses entail additional penalties such as sex offender registration under Megan’s Law, not to mention collateral consequences during divorce or child custody proceedings.

Endangering the Welfare of a Child in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4

Endangering the Welfare of a Child offense are outlined in N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4, which reads:

a. 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 is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Any other person who engages in conduct or who causes harm (as described in the statute) to a child under the age of 16 is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

b. A person commits a crime of the second degree if he causes or permits a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act if the person knows, has reason to know or intends that the prohibited act may be photographed, filmed, reproduced, or reconstructed in any manner, including on the Internet, or may be part of an exhibition or performance. If the person is a parent, guardian or other people legally charged with the care or custody of the child, the person is guilty of a crime of the first degree.

c. A person who photographs or films a child in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act or who uses any device, including a computer, to reproduce or reconstruct the image of a child in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act is guilty of a second degree crime.

d. A person who knowingly receives for the purpose of selling or who knowingly sells, procures, manufactures, gives, provides, lends, trades, mails, delivers, transfers, publishes, distributes, circulates, disseminates, presents, exhibits, advertises, offers or agrees to offer, through any means, including the Internet, any photograph, film, videotape, computer program or file, video game or any other reproduction or reconstruction which depicts a child engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act, is guilty of a second degree crime.

e. A person who knowingly possess or knowingly views any photograph, film, videotape, computer program or file, video game or any other reproduction or reconstruction which depicts a child engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act, including on the Internet, is guilty of a fourth degree crime.

Child Endangerment Penalties

Depending on the degree of the endangering charges and the nature of the offense, you may be exposed to a myriad of penalties, the details of which are provided below:

  • Fourth Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child: punishable by a period of up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison
  • Third Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child: punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison
  • Second Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child: punishable by a period of between 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, with a presumption of incarceration even for first-time offenders.
  • First Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child: punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison

As mentioned previously, endangering the welfare of a child charge involving child pornography or some other form of sexual activity and/or sex crimes may also require Megan’s Law sex offender registration for those convicted.

Charged with Child Endangerment in NJ?

Clearly, “endangering” charges are extraordinarily serious, with the potential to send negative reverberations coursing through your life. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Breslow Law Offices have assisted thousands of clients through this difficult process. Contact their office anytime to find the answers you need to move forward with confidence, protecting yourself and those you love. Consultations are always free.