Officers throughout the state, including officers in Morris County, take their duty to protect children very seriously. Endangering the welfare of a child is a catch-all statute under N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 that is meant to protect children from a whole host of potentially harmful or corrupting influences that an adult through their position of influence and power over the child could work against them. Based on the severity of the offense, the crime may range from a first degree crime to a third degree crime, but regardless of the gradation of the offense, the actor can expect to spend significant time behind bars if convicted of this offense in Morris County. The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall has been defending individuals charged with endangering the welfare of a child, lewdness, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, possession of child pornography and aggravated assault throughout Morris County for over a decade. With eight Morris County criminal defense attorneys on staff, our office is one of the largest criminal defense firms in the State let alone Morris County. If you or someone you know has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child in Morristown, Mendham, Chatham, Rockaway, Dover, Parsippany, Madison or elsewhere in Morris County, we can help. To set up a consultation, please contact our Morristown office at (973) 309-7050. Our Morris County criminal defense attorneys are available 24/7 to answer any questions that you may have and as always our initial consultations are always free. Now here is some vital information on the offense of endangering the welfare of a child in New Jersey.
N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a): Endangering the Welfare of a Child Defense Lawyer in Dover, NJ
In its simplest terms, the statute may be read as follows:
- 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 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 elsewhere in the code is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Any other person who engages in this type of conduct would be guilty of a crime of the third degree.
For the purposes of this statute, a child means any person under the age of 18 (the age was increased from 16 to 18 in 2013). Also housed under this statute, though, and the reason that this crime may rise to the level of a first degree offense is the fact child pornography is covered under this statute. Child pornography rises to the level of a first degree offense where the actor causes or permits a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act and has reason to know or intends that the prohibited act be photographed, filmed, reproduced or reconstructed in any manner, including placement on the Internet.
While obviously these are fairly heinous crimes involving the neglect or degradation of a child’s well being, our criminal system commands that a person is innocent until proven guilty and not the other way around. You should not feel that being charged with any of these crimes means that you cannot obtain relief and the best way to obtain that relief is with the best representation that you can find. With the potential for 20 years (first degree offense), 10 years (second degree offense) or 5 years (third degree offense) of incarceration on the line, as well as the possibility of having to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law for the rest of your life, you can afford nothing less than the best representation. To set up a free initial consultation, please contact our Morristown office at (973) 309-7050.
Parsippany NJ Endangering the Welfare of a Child Attorneys
Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending against criminal charges in Morris County and our team of 8 attorneys, including former prosecutors, stand ready to help you fight these charges. So please, if you or a loved one has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child in Morris County, do not hesitate to contact one of our conveniently located offices today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney about the particulars of your endangering case.