What are Child Endangerment Laws in New Jersey?

The job of a parent, or an individual who is responsible for the care of a child, is to protect their children and ensure they are always happy, healthy, and safe. While this is true, the unfortunate reality is that sometimes parents and guardians can find themselves in situations where they put their children in danger. When this happens, they can be charged with endangering the welfare of a child. A conviction for these charges can result in severe consequences. Continue reading below to learn more and retain the services of an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney if you are facing these charges.

What is Child Endangerment?

The law regarding child endangerment in the state of New Jersey says that a person is guilty if they are either of the following:

  • “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?

In the state of New Jersey, the following actions are considered child endangerment and can result in charges:

  • Child pornography
  • Child molestation
  • Child abuse
  • Child neglect
  • Sexual assault
  • Statutory rape
  • Driving while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle

What are the Penalties of Child Endangerment?

Individuals who are charged with child endangerment can face significant penalties that have the potential to affect them for the rest of their lives. Those who are charged with the crime in the third degree can face a prison sentence between three and five years. Those who are charged in the second degree can face a sentence between five and 10 years in state prison.  If the charge is of a sexual nature, it is possible for Megan’s Law to apply and the individual would have to report to law enforcement.

Contact our Firm

If you or your loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, having an experienced criminal defense team available to advocate on your behalf is crucial. The Rem Katcher Law Group, P.C. is here to help. Contact our firm today.