Penalties for Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Fines, Jail Time & Sex Offender Registration in Freehold Child Endangerment Cases

Given the extreme nature of the penalties that apply to a charge of endangering the welfare of a child, one of the most important decisions an accused can make involves selection of the right defense attorney. There is little doubt that failure to reach a successful outcome of the offense will result in lifelong consequences. You will have a felony criminal record, face thousands of dollars of fines and years in state prison, and may even have to register under Megan’s Law if sexual misconduct is involved. If you have been charged in Monmouth County with this offense, your case will be heard in Freehold NJ at the Superior Court. Whether you were arrested for endangering/child abuse in Wall, Tinton Falls, Sea Bright, Howell, or Allenhurst, this is the only court that has jurisdiction over your charge. Our attorneys include former prosecutors in this county and other skilled criminal attorneys who have defended many individuals just like you seeking to avoid the penalties associated with a endangering the welfare of a child conviction.

An endangering the welfare of a child charge comes in the form of a second degree crime or third degree crime. The range of penalties are different depending on the grade, with second degree endangering being the more serious of the two. The following is a discussion of the penalties that apply to each grade of endangering the welfare of a child. To discuss what can be done to help you mitigate or eliminate fines, jail time or even Megan’s law, call our Freehold Office at 732-462-1197 anytime 24/7. Initial consultations are always without charge so do not hesitate to contact us if you need assistance.

Second Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child

  • Fines. The amount of the fine imposed under N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 is a matter that is discretionary. Nonetheless, the sentencing judge can set the fine as high as $150,000.
  • Jail. Since this is a second degree offense, there is a presumption of incarceration, meaning that prison is a virtual certainty if there is a conviction. The jail exposure is between five (5) and ten (10) years. It is crucially important that individuals charged with Second Degree Endangering get this offense downgraded to a third degree and/or to some other lesser offenses (if not a dismissal) so as to avoid the presumption of prison.

Third Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child

  • Fines. The maximum fine is $15,000.
  • Jail. The potential jail is between zero (0) and five (5) years. If an individual has no prior criminal record, this is a presumption of non-incarceration. If the judge disregards the presumption and/or the individual has a prior record such that the presumption is lost, then the usual range of state prison for a third degree charge is three (3) to five (5) years.

Megan’s Law, Sex Crimes Registry & Community Supervision for Life

An individual is also required to comply with Megan’s Law as a registered sex offender if he or she is convicted of endangering the welfare of a child based on the commission of a sex offense. Failure to timely register as a person convicted of a sex based endangering the welfare of a child offense results in a separate third degree crime. It is also a separate fourth degree offense to fail to inform law enforcement of a change in address under Megan’s Law. It is therefore fundamentally important that you make sure that you effectively defend this offense and do not fall within the mandates of Megan’s Law. Our staff of attorneys can assist you in this regard whether your charges arose in Middletown, Neptune, Ocean, Manalapan, Long Branch or some other municipality in Monmouth County.

Freehold NJ Child Abuse Defense Lawyer

As you can see, the penalties you will face are severe if you are convicted of child abuse or neglect at the Monmouth County Superior Court, Freehold NJ. This is a primary reason why it is imperative to invest the time necessary to identify those attorneys who can provide you with the greatest opportunity for reducing or evading significant fines, a jail/prison sentence, or registration as a sex offender. We honestly believe that our firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall provides a formidable option for your representation. To discuss your case with an experienced child abuse defense lawyer in our Freehold Office, call us at 732-462-1197.