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Somerset County Child Endangerment Lawyer

Like all states, New Jersey has laws in place to protect the safety and well-being of children. These laws are meant to be administered in a way that does just that, and many times they are.

However, like many areas of the law, these statutes can have a good deal of legal grey area that allow courts to apply them liberally in many situations. As a result, accusations of child endangerment may result in serious criminal charges, and a Somerset County child endangerment lawyer could be an important part of how you approach facing those charges.

Child endangerment charges can be surprising and intimidating, but they do not have to be. By understanding the charges you are facing as well as your rights, you may be able to work with an experienced domestic violence lawyer to effectively pursue a positive resolution to your case.

Examples of Child Endangerment

Child endangerment is a broad category that encompasses just about any action that can be harmful to the safety and well-being of a child. In New Jersey, these are typically considered to be second-degree crimes, though the exact circumstances of the offense in question could potentially elevate those charges. Some common examples include:

  • Child abuse
  • Child neglect
  • Child sexual assault and/or rape
  • Statutory rape
  • Child molestation

Inflicting unnecessary physical punishments or forcing a child to experience unnecessary physical or mental strain may also be considered child endangerment. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, someone could face child endangerment charges in conjunction with other related charges.

Legal Definition of Child Abuse and Neglect

In many circumstances, the terms child neglect and abuse can be rather non-specific. Under New Jersey Revised Statutes §9:6-1, child abuse includes actions such as failing to properly care for a child so that the child is put at risk for physical or moral harm due to lack of protection. It also includes failing to care for a child so that the child must be cared for by individuals not legally obligated to provide such care.

Based on this definition, child abuse and/or neglect could entail engaging in risky or dangerous behavior that poses significant risk for a child’s health, safety, and/or overall well-being. For instance, driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs would likely be considered a form of child abuse and could result in child endangerment charges. In the same vein, the possession or use of illegal substances may also be deemed child endangerment if a child is present during said act.

Potential Consequences for Child Endangerment

Most forms of child endangerment are considered second-degree crimes. A conviction on such charges could result in up to ten years in prison. Lesser instances of child endangerment may result in a third-degree criminal charge, but the possible consequences for a conviction on such charges are still severe and can include up to five years in prison.

Conviction on child endangerment charges could mean the loss of significant rights when it comes to caring for children. In some cases, convicted parties may have their child taken away from them. That is just one reason why working with an experienced child endangerment lawyer in Somerset County to face charges of child endangerment is often an important step.

Let a Somerset County Child Endangerment Attorney Help

Child endangerment charges can have significant short- and long-term consequences for you and your family, including the child or children involved. When something as important as your family and your child’s well-being are at stake, a Somerset county child endangerment lawyer who understands how much is on the line could play an important role in helping you explore your options.

It is important to take a thorough approach to facing charges involving child endangerment. Call today to see how a dedicated attorney could work with you on your case.