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Endangering the Welfare of a Child

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William A ProettaReviewsout of 30 reviews Keith G OliverReviewsout of 55 reviews

Somerset County NJ Endangering Welfare of Child Attorney

Endangering the welfare of a child is one of the most complex criminal offenses in all of New Jersey. Not only does this offense cover inappropriate sexual contact, possession / distribution of child pornography but physical and sexual abuse / neglect of a child as well. Also, as you will see below, a conviction for this type of offense could not only land a Defendant behind bars for up to a decade but it could also force mandatory Megan’s Law registration for life as well. Due to the complexity of the statute and the potential penalties if convicted, it is strongly recommend that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. More often than not, a Defendant charged with endangering the welfare of child will be forced to partake in a Detention Hearing. During that hearing, the prosecution will be seeking to convince the Judge that the Defendant must be detained in the Somerset county jail, without bail, pending trial. These hearing can and always should be contested. For more information on detention hearings in New Jersey, please contact our office at 908-533-1064. Our Somerset County criminal defense attorneys are available immediately for a free initial consultation.

Local Attorney in Somerville for Endangering Welfare of a Child Charges

The criminal defense attorneys at Proetta & Oliver defend clients accused of endangering the welfare of a child, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, invasion of privacy, driving while intoxicated, luring and aggravated assault in towns throughout Somerset and Hunterdon County.  Our law firm offers clients the experience and poise typical at big firms, but with the individual client service of a smaller office. At our firm, your case will not be juggled back and forth between a half dozen attorneys who do not know you or the facts of your case. Mr. Oliver, one of the firms founding partners traditionally handles all criminal matters that arise out of Somerset and Hunterdon County. If you would like to speak to Mr. Oliver or one of the other members of our firm, then please contact us at 908-533-1064. We can go over the underlying facts surrounding your case and we will give you our honest feedback on how we think we can be of assistance. Our office serves all of Somerville, Flemington, Watchung, Bridgewater, Bound Brook, Green Brook, Franklin, Clinton, Readington, Hillsborough and Raritan. So if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Endangering Welfare of a Child Attorney in Hunterdon County 

Charged with Endangering a Child in New Jersey?

As touched upon above, endangering the welfare of a child is an extremely complex statute that covers a wide array of potential conduct. Here is a quick chart of each section before we breakdown the subsections:

DegreeType of Conduct

Jail Time

First Degree

  • Manufacturing Child Pornography

10 to 20 Years

Second Degree

  • Sexual Conduct
  • Abuse or Neglect
  • Distributing Child Pornography

5 to 10 Years

Third Degree

  • Sexual Contact
  • Abuse or Neglect
  • Possession Child Pornography

3 to5 Years

Child Pornography Charges in New Jersey: 

When it comes to child pornography charges, the statute is broken down into three different subsections: possession, distribution and manufacturing. The individual subsection will dictate what degree of a felony the person will be charged with.

  • Manufacturing Child Pornography: The prosecution must establish that the Defendant caused or allowed a child to engage in a sexual act or simulation thereof and that they were aware or should have been aware that the act would have been filmed or photographed. This is a first degree felony offense.
  • Distribution of Child Pornography: The prosecution must prove that the Defendant sold, circulated or offered to give any photos, films or videotapes that depicted a child engaged in a sexual act or simulation thereof. This is a second degree felony offense.
  • Possession of Child Pornography: The prosecution must prove that the Defendant possessed and/or viewed photos, films or videotapes that depicted a child engaged in a sexual act or simulation thereof. This is a third degree felony offense.

Abuse or Neglect of a Child Charges in NJ:

When it comes to an abuse of neglect of a child charge in New Jersey, the relationship of the child to the Defendant will dictate what degree of a felony they are charged with.

  • 2nd Degree Abuse or Neglect: It must be established that the Defendant assumed a legal duty to take care of the child (i.e the victim) and while doing so, they committed an act that made the child abused or neglected.
  • 3rd Degree Abuse or Neglect: The prosecution has to show that the Defendant committed an act that made the child abused or neglected.

By far one of the most common factual scenario where a Defendant finds themselves facing this charge in New Jersey is when the individual is alleged to have been driving while intoxicated while a child is inside the car.

Sexual Conduct Charges in New Jersey:

Similar to the abuse and neglect section of the statute addressed above, the relationship of the child and the Defendant will dictate what degree of a felony they are charged with.

  • 2nd Degree Sexual Conduct: It must be established that the Defendant assumed a legal duty to take care of the child (i.e the victim) and while doing so, they committed a sexual act that would impair or debauch the morals of a child.
  • 3rd Degree Sexual Conduct: The prosecution has to show that the Defendant committed a sexual act that would impair or debauch the morals of a child.

Bound Brook NJ Endangering the Welfare of a Child Lawyer

Being charged with a criminal offense is nerve wracking for most, however, being charged with a serious sex offense like endangering the welfare of a child can be downright terrifying. If you have been issued a complaint for endangering the welfare of a child, stalking, terroristic threats, criminal sexual contact, aggravated sexual assault or served with a temporary restraining order, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. If you would like to speak to one of our Hunterdon County criminal defense attorneys about your options today, then please contact us at 908-533-1064. Our attorneys serve all of Somerset and Hunterdon County, including Bernards, Bedminster, North Plainfield, Manville, Montgomery, Flemington, Somerville and Readington.