Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Jackson NJ Endangering the Welfare of a Child Lawyer

The offense of endangering the welfare of a child arises in municipalities like Little Egg Harbor, Toms River and Jackson far more often then law enforcement in Ocean County would like. This is particularly true when the charge involves sexual misconduct. Whether you were charged with endangering the welfare of a child based on sexual conduct or allegations of abuse and neglect, a conviction will result in a felony record and also exposes you to a significant term of imprisonment. Our former prosecutors and knowledgeable attorneys are experienced in handling these extremely complex charges. In fact, the eight lawyers on our defense team have over 100 years in practice between them. Call us at (732) 286-6500 to speak to a lawyer about an endangering offense in Brick, Lacey or another Ocean County municipality. An attorney is available 24/7 for free consultations.

Endangering the Welfare of a Child Offense in Ocean County

There are basically four ways an individual can be charged with an endangering the welfare of a child offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4. A violation of this law is either a third degree crime or second degree crime depending on whether the accused has a legal duty of care to the victim (e.g. parent, grandparent, uncle, sitter, teacher, coach, etc.). Second degree endangering the welfare of a child arises when someone with a legal duty of care to the child: (1) engages in sexual conduct which impairs or debauches the morals of the child; or (2) to cause harm that would make the child abused or neglected as defined under N.J.S.A. 9:6-1, 9:6-3, or 9:6-8.21. When a legal duty or assumed responsibility is lacking, the conduct described in (1) or (2) is a third degree crime. For purposes of this violation, "sexual conduct" includes not only sexual acts but also exposure of a minor to obscene materials or sexual conduct by others.

When Does Mandatory Registration Under Megan’s Law Apply To An Endangering Conviction?

If the 2C:24-4 violation stems from sexual conduct, the requirements of Megan’s Law apply. A conviction based on abuse or neglect does not give rise to mandatory sex offender registration.

What Is the Statute of Limitation for Filing an Endangering the Welfare of a Child Charge?

Prosecution for endangering the welfare of a child must be commenced no later than five (5) years from the date of the victim reaching 18 years old or within two (2) years of discovery of the offense by the victim, whichever is later, or the offense is time barred.

If I Am Convicted of Endangering What Penalties Apply?

Like all criminal offenses, the severity of the penalties for endangering the welfare of a child hinge on the degree of crime involved. Second degree endangering the welfare of a child carries a prison term of five (5) to ten (10) years and a fine of up to $150,000. The jail term is less for third degree endangering the welfare of a child and is three (3) to five (5) years. The potential fine is $15,000.

Chart Summarizing N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 ("Endangering the Welfare of a Child")

Statute

How It Applies

Degree

Max Fine

Imprisonment

2C:24-4(a)(1)

Possess a legal duty and engages in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the minor.

Second

$150,000

5-10 Years

2C:24-4(a)(1)

Person without a duty who engages in conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the minor.

Third

$15,000

Up to 5 Years

2C:24-4(a)(2)

Possess a legal duty and cause harm to the child that is considered abuse or neglect pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:6-1

Second

$150,000

5-10 Years

2C:24-4(a)(2)

Person without a duty who causes harm that constitutes abuse or neglect under N.J.S.A. 9:6-1

Third

$15,000

Up to 5 Years

Lakewood NJ Endangering the Welfare of a Child Defense Attorney

Charges for endangering the welfare of a child can arise anywhere in Ocean County including in Manchester, Stafford, Lakewood, Barnegat and Little Egg Harbor. If you were arrested based on allegations that you abused a child, you absolutely must take this offense seriously. You face years in prison absent a successfully defense and this is precisely what the lawyers at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver are prepared to provide. Our attorneys are seasoned advocates that have defended countless neglect and abuse cases, including those involving sexual misconduct, DWI with a child and excessive physical force. An attorney is available immediately at (732) 286-6500 to answer your questions. Contact our Toms River Office to speak to a lawyer now.

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