Endangering the Welfare of a Child – Sex Offenses Lawyer in South Jersey
New Jersey Sex Crimes Attorney Represents Clients Accused of Child Endangerment in Camden, Gloucester, Burlington, Atlantic, Salem, Mercer, and Cape May County, NJ
Crimes against children are always considered to be serious in the state of New Jersey due to the age and innocence of the victim. When sexual offenses are involved, the severity of the penalties involving a conviction go up substantially. Future opportunities, relationships, and reputations are destroyed when found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child through sexual acts. Criminal defense attorney Jill Cohen can legally represent you in court and use all circumstance of your situation to get fines, jail time, and other penalties reduced as much as possible. Contact the law office of Jill Cohen today for legal assistance from an experienced DYFS New Jersey criminal defense attorney.
Types of Sex Crimes Against Children that Involve Child Endangerment Convictions in New Jersey
New Jersey’s child endangerment statute Section 2C:24-4 notes six primary types of sexual offenses against minors that range in severity from first degree to third degree felonies:
- “Engaging in sexual conduct that could impair or corrupt the morals of the child” is considered a second-degree offense when committed by a person that has a legal duty or assumed responsibility for the care of the child. In any other situation, it is considered a third-degree offense.
- Causing harm to a child that, “would make the child an abused or neglected child,” as defined in various other sections of the New Jersey Statutes is either a second or third-degree offense, depending upon the actor’s relationship with the child.
- “Allowing a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act” is a first-degree offense if the defendant intends, knows, or has reason to know that the act will result in the recording of such behaviors for the purpose of creating child pornography and distributing the content anywhere including online.
- “Photographing or filming a child involved in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act or who using any device, including a computer or smartphone, to reproduce or recreate the image of a child in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act,” is a second-degree offense.
- Knowingly distributing, possessing with the intent to distribute, or storing with any file-sharing program “an item depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child,” is a second-degree offense.
- Knowingly possessing, knowingly viewing or knowingly having under control “an image, video, or other file depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child is a third-degree offense.
Consequences and Penalties of a Sex-Related Child Endangerment Charge from New Jersey Court
If you are found to be guilty of sex-related child endangerment in court, you will be looking at serious penalties and personal consequences. Depending on if the crime is considered first, second or third degree, you can face. Jail time can be anywhere from 2 years to life imprisonment and one can be fined several $100,000 as well. Sex-related charges against children also involve certain Megan’s Law requirements.
Megan’s Law requires convicted sex offenders released on parole to register with their local law enforcement agency, usually for life, and this may result in the posting of the offender’s photo and personal information online as well. All of this depends on which tier the offender is classified under.
There are three classification tiers in New Jersey, each with different consequences and penalties:
- Tier-One Offenders – offender’s personal information is only given to the local police department and is not posted online;
- Tier-Two Offenders – offender’s personal information is given to the local police agency, posted online and warnings are sent to specific community organizations, such as schools, child care centers, camps, etc., that the offender is likely to encounter and involves children; and
- Tier-Three Offenders – offender’s personal information is given to the local police department, posted online and move-in notifications are sent to everyone in the offender’s neighborhood, in addition to the agencies and organizations required by Tier-Two.
In situations where these crimes involve the sexual abuse of a blood relative or family member, the Division of Child Permanency and Protection can also become involved in the case. If this is the case, other consequences can be involved including the ability to return home and see or interact with one’s children in the future. A convicted felon may face abuse and neglect conviction penalties involved with New Jersey statute Title 9. Finally, one’s name most likely will be permanently added to the DCP&P Central Registry that allows most government agencies and other organizations to be aware that sexual acts were involved in the neglect or abuse of a child. This can be especially damaging for those who work closely with children (nurses, daycare workers, etc.), resulting in a destroyed career.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Those Charged in New Jersey with Crimes Involving Sexually Endangering a Child
A guilty sentencing for sexual related child endangerment crimes can have a severe impact on one’s life and reputation, not to mention that heavy fines and many years of jail time often go hand-in-hand with the conviction. A vigorous and skill criminal defense attorney in New Jersey can make all the difference on how severe the penalties are and how the overall situation will play out in court. Not only can a quality lawyer help get fines and jail time reduced, but they can also prevent destroyed reputations and permanent placement on the New Jersey sex crime registry by:
- Lowering a clients tier designation by challenging it in court;
- Helping the defendant plead guilty to a lesser or different crime; and
- Using psychological evaluations (mental illness or insanity plea) to convince the state or the court not to require community and/or online postings of the client’s personal information.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today with an Experienced and Dedicated New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer
Consequences and penalties of being convicted of a crime involving sexual offenses and endangerment of a child tend to be very severe and detrimental to a client’s future. Criminal defense attorney Jill Cohen has worked for years with clients facing similar charges and has the experience needed to fight for your in court. She understands that permanent placement on the New Jersey Sex Offender Registry can destroy future opportunities for a client and that heavy fines and long jail time also can ruin one’s life. Getting the right attorney can make all the difference. Contact us using our online form for a free consultation on your child endangerment case today. Jill Cohen has been serving criminal defendants for sexual offenses and endangerment of children offenses in Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Winslow, Pennsauken, Voorhees, Lindenwold, Haddon Township, Collingswood and Haddonfield.