Endangering the Welfare of Children

New Jersey Child Endangerment Defense Lawyer

Many of the clients I defend against charges of endangering the welfare of a child have never been in trouble with the law before and are now facing one of the most damaging offenses in criminal law. Charges involving crimes against children are frightening to anyone because the mere accusation is enough to destroy a person's family and career forever. As a criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience defending people accused of crimes against children, I can speak to you confidently and accurately about your case. Even if you decide not to retain my services, the consultation is entirely confidential so you can get answers to your most private questions.

I am Anthony N. Palumbo, a criminal defense lawyer with over 35 years experience defending individuals charged with crimes against children such as Child Sexual Assault, Child Pornography, Child Molestation and Criminal Sexual Contact. If you have been charged with a crime against a child, contact me today for a Free Consultation at 1-866-664-8118 or read the information below which lays out the law on endangering the welfare of children in New Jersey.

NJ Endangering the Welfare of Children Law

New Jersey statute 2C: 24-4 lays out the New Jersey state law on endangering the welfare of a child. In order to fully understand the actions which lead to consequences under the law, it is important to consider the key terms listed below before reading the statute.

Key Terms in the Statute

  • "Child" means any person under 16 years of age.
  • "Internet" means the international computer network of both federal and non-federal interoperable packet switched data networks.
  • "Prohibited sexual act" means: sexual intercourse; or anal intercourse; or masturbation; or bestiality; or sadism; or masochism; or fellatio; or cunnilingus; or Nudity, if depicted for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any person who may view such depiction; or any act of sexual penetration or sexual contact.
  • "Reproduction" means, but is not limited to, computer generated images.

NJ Endangering the Welfare of Children Law

  • 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 crime of the second degree. Any other person who engages in conduct or who causes harm as described in this subsection to a child under the age of 16 is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
  • A person commits a crime of the second degree if he 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 person shall be guilty of a crime of the first degree.
  • Any 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 crime of the second degree.
  • Any 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 crime of the second degree.
  • Any 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 crime of the fourth degree.
  • For purposes of this subsection, a person who is depicted as or presents the appearance of being under the age of 16 in any photograph, film, videotape, computer program or file, video game or any other reproduction or reconstruction shall be rebuttably presumed to be under the age of 16. If the child who is depicted as engaging in, or who is caused to engage in, a prohibited sexual act or simulation of a prohibited sexual act is under the age of 16, the actor shall be strictly liable and it shall not be a defense that the actor did not know that the child was under the age of 16, nor shall it be a defense that the actor believed that the child was 16 years of age or older, even if such a mistaken belief was reasonable.

NJ Penalties

A first degree crime carries 10 to 20 years in prison. A second degree crime carries 5 to 10 years in prison. And a third degree crime carries 3 to 5 years in prison. In addition, conviction of an offense like endangering the welfare of a child will require a convict to register with Megan's Law, New Jersey's sex offender registry law.

NJ Sex Crime Defense

If you have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and have questions about your case, I offer every potential client a free consultation. I will listen to your description of the events leading to your arrest and I will explain your rights and options for defense. Rest assured that I will not hesitate to take your case to trial and aggressively litigate your case. I have a reputation in New Jersey for hard-line defense tactics and I will not hesitate to use them on your behalf. To learn what may be done in your defense, contact me today for a Free Consultation at 1-866-664-8118.