When a person has a child, it is their responsibility to take care of and protect the child. However, there are cases in which parents make mistakes and put their children in danger. When this happens, their parental fitness may be called into question by the court. This can result in being charged with endangering the welfare of a child. When facing these situations, it is important to retain the services of a skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney.
Child Endangerment Law in New Jersey
The statute regarding child endangerment in New Jersey covers two different parts, described as follows:
- “Any person having a legal duty for the care of a child 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 is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Any other person who engages in conduct or who causes harm as described in this paragraph to a child is guilty of a crime of the third degree.”
- “Any person having a legal duty for the care of a child or who has assumed responsibility for the care of a child 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 paragraph to a child is guilty of a crime of the third degree.”
What Actions are Considered Child Endangerment?
There are a variety of actions that are considered endangering the welfare of a child. This can include the following:
- Child pornography
- Child molestation
- Child abuse
- Child neglect
- DYFS hearings
- Sexual assault
- Statutory rape
- Driving while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle
What are the Consequences of Child Endangerment?
There are three degrees to child endangerment charges. Each degree results in their own consequences, including the following:
- Third-Degree: This can result in three to five years in prison.
- Second-Degree: This can result in five to 10 years in state prison.
- First-Degree: This can result in between 10 and 20 years in state prison as well as a fine up to $250,000. In addition to this, they are required to register under Megan’s law as a sex offender.
Contact our Firm
Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.