Cherry Hill NJ Endangering the Welfare of a Child Lawyer
Under New Jersey law, endangering the welfare of a child charges have broad application, encompassing offenses involving physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and a variety of actions that may place a child in harm’s way. Unbeknownst to many, endangering charges also apply in cases of child pornography. In fact, you may face endangering charges for possessing, disseminating, filming, photographing, or allowing a child to engage in child pornography. However, endangering the welfare of a child cases do not always involve sex crimes. They may also arise from alleged child abuse or dangerous behavior such as driving while intoxicated with a child in the car. Depending on the circumstances of your specific case, a conviction for endangering the welfare of a child in New Jersey may result in a prison sentence ranging from 18 months to 20 years. Collateral consequences may also include registration as a sex offender under New Jersey’s Megan’s Law and/or losing custody of your children.
Attorney William Fay has years of experience defending individuals charged with criminal offenses in New Jersey. His extensive knowledge and skillful representation has led to countless successes in New Jersey courts. Mr. Fay is former Deputy Attorney General for the state Attorney General’s Office and his consistently outstanding client reviews reflect his diligence and dedication to those he represents. For example, one client said this of their experience with him:
“Mr. Fay is extremely caring and knowledgeable. He took the time to explain the entire process in a very clear manner and was a tremendous help during a stressful time. He was always available to take a phone call and really showed that he cared about me and my case. I highly recommend Mr. Fay as an attorney.” – ★★★★★ Former Client
To speak with Mr. Fay about your case today, contact his offices at 609-832-3202 for a free consultation. You can also read more of his client reviews by accessing his individual profile on Avvo.com
What is NJ’s Law for Endangering the Welfare of A Child?
Charges for Endangering the Welfare of a Child are outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. The statute delineates among a variety of actions which may constitute endangering under the law. The classifications are as follows:
Sexual Conduct, Abuse, or Neglect
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 second degree crime. Any other person who engages in conduct or who causes harm to a child under the age of 16 is guilty of a third degree crime. Notably, you can be charged with a more serious degree of child endangerment if you are responsible for caring for the child or acting in a supervisory capacity. Second degree crimes are punishable by a New Jersey State Prison term ranging from 5 to 10 years, while third degree crimes entail a 3 to 5-year term of incarceration.
Allowing a Child to Engage in Pornography
A person commits a second degree crime if he or she 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 person legally charged with the care or custody of the child, the personal is guilty of a first degree crime. Note that these charges are more severe if you are the parent or legal guardian of the child. First degree charges are punishable by a New Jersey State Prison term ranging from 10 to 20 years, while second degree crimes entail a 5 to 10-year prison term.
Photographing or Filming Child Pornography
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. Second degree crimes are punishable by a New Jersey State Prison term ranging from 5 to 10 years.
Disseminating Child Pornography
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. Note that you do not need to profit from the sharing of child pornography in order to be charged with this offense, which may result in a term of incarceration of 5 to 10 years.
Possessing Child Pornography
A person who knowingly possesses 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. If you are convicted of a fourth degree crime, you may be sentenced to serve up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison.
As mentioned above, endangering the welfare of a child charges may also result in mandatory sex offender registration under New Jersey’s Megan’s Law. A conviction for these charges can also spell negative implications for your child custody arrangement.
How Can I Fight My Charges for Child Pornography?
As discussed above, the most common conduct that leads to criminal charges for Endangering the Welfare of a Child involves possession or distribution of child pornography. Before you can determine how to defend these charges, it is important to understand what lead the police to uncover the alleged evidence. Did the police file for a search warrant on your computer or phone? Did the officers have probable cause to support their search warrant application? Did the officers conduct a lawful search pursuant to the judicial search warrant? If the material was recovered from a family computer, can they prove who downloaded or viewed the images? Were any admission made by the defendant? If so, were they done so after a valid Miranda warning was provided?
These are just a few of the common examples that a skilled defense attorney will look to uncover when preparing a defense for your child pornography case in the Camden County Superior Court.
Local Pennsauken Child Pornography Defense Attorney
If you or someone you love is involved in a child endangerment case in Cherry Hill, Pennsauken, Gloucester Township, Winslow, Voorhees or Bellmawr, contact our firm at 609-832-3202. It is important that you fight to protect your rights, your reputation, and your innocence. The initial call and consultation is cost-free.