Endangering the welfare of a child in New Jersey is a criminal offense governed by N.J.S. 2C:24-4 which provides:

  1. 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 as defined in R.S. 9:6-1, R.S. 9:6-3 and P.L. 1974, c. 119, § 1 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.

Endangering the Welfare of a Child can include any of the following:

  • Statutory Rape (with a minor under 16 years of age)
  • Sexual Assault
  • DYFS hearings
  • Driving while Intoxicated (DWI) with a minor in the vehicle
  • Child abuse
  • Child neglect
  • Child molestation
  • Child pornography

Endangering the welfare of a child in New Jersey can be a second degree or a third degree offense, depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime. A second degree crime in New Jersey contains a presumption of imprisonment with a range of incarceration up to (10) years. A third degree offense, on the other hand, contains no presumption of imprisonment; therefore any individual convicted of the lesser third degree charge may be able to serve a probationary sentence rather than jail time. Any potential incarceration is also significantly less than a second degree offense and includes a range of only three (3) to five (5) years of jail time.

In addition to the stigma you might face from an endangering the welfare of a child charge and conviction, endangering the welfare of a child can also include Megan’s Law registration requirements depending on the alleged circumstances of the crime. If convicted under certain circumstances Megan’s Law may require that you register in an internet database (which is open to the public) as a as well as requiring notifications in the community, your neighborhood, and your place of employment. Moreover, you will be eligible to be removed from these registration requirements only after fifteen (15) years and once certain criteria has been met.

  • mike gonzalez

    i have a question my son was charge with endangering the welfare of a child a third degree charge and he was given 15 months at jjc my question is can my son be put on house arrest the prosecutor abviously knows the family members of the other family since her sister works for the court they had consensual sex my son was also a menor he was seventeen years old the girl was twelve turning thirteen or she was thirteen at the time they couldnt proof her age at the time nobody knows my son is disable his mentality is of a much younger person his been abuse at this jail mentaly and physically the judge stated he was going to request information about my son so far he hasnt they force medication on the prisoners there and nothing can be done if they say no they will get send to the hole or put a charge i over heard the officers saying they in control and the prisoners nows better they will belief the guards over the prisoners i fear for my sons life i honestly dont belief in justice in america i have seen so much abuse that goes on on this prisons and everyone stays quiet my question is how can i take my son in house arrest send numerous letters to the judge that abviously dont care about the juveniles at all this is my son first offense for been naive what are my alternatives at this time how can my son come out on house arrest before someone inthere hurts my son badly please email me back with any suggestions thanks.

  • Scott F.

    If you could take the time to respond I would appreciate it. I’ll try to make it brief. A man my sister in law works with was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child approx. 14 years ago. I don’t know the specifics of the conviction except that there was exposure in a public place to minors under 16. I believe he was under the influence of alcohol at the time. He no longer drinks. He is on megans list so I’m not sure of the offense class. he was hired about 4 months ago as a maintence man at a seniors apartment complex/apartment included-he’s 47.-And apparently was doing a fine job/no issues, very reliable…etc. He was hired by the complex manager and I have to assume disclosed criminal record at that time-. Recently the owner of the complex was informed by a tenant/tenants family member of the criminal history and the man was immediately terminated-no job-no place to live-30 days out-no explainations accepted. Is this legal? I’m not sure why-I mean my eyes are not closed here but if the man has paid his due by the system we all subscribe -just seems wrong-

  • Unfortunately, yes it seems legal. He is an employee at will and can be terminated for any reason except for discriminatory reasons based on race, sex, etc. Being on Megan’s Law is not a protected class and is a grounds for termination.

    That being said, I may be able to help. There was recent legislation passed that allows him to be removed from Megan’s Law after fifteen (15) years as long as he has had no other convictions and I can show that he is not a danger to the public. Since it has been 14 years since his conviction, he may be eligible to file this motion and be removed from Megan’s Law entirely.

  • Janina Class

    My husband was in the car with an intoxicated driver, and her 8 year old child in back seat. The driver hit a snow embankment, and my husband tried to push the truck. State troopers pulled up, and arrested my husband, and driver. He is in jail awaiting a court date. He could not drive cause the truck is stick shift. He cannot drive a stick shift. He has no money the bail is set at $50,000 with 10% down. No one was hurt, and the child is okay. The driver got out on bail, and is in rehab. The charge set against him is child endangerment. I am going out of my mind not knowing what’s going to happen. He did not know the driver was intoxicated when she got behind the wheel. He is innocent, and does not need this on his record. He is a sick man, and can’t be in jail. Can the driver stand up for him in court, and say it was her fault that he is innocent.
    I appreciate all your advice in this matter.

  • Yes, she can. Unfortunately, he will be in jail until the case moves forward. Hopefully he can get a public defender who can file a bail motion and get his bail lowered. It really doesn’t sound like he should have been charged with anything based on the facts you detailed. Good luck.

  • keey

    Hi I been charged with endanger of child of welfare in morris town with my daughter they put it as criminal I haven’t did nothing wrong at all I was trying to seek help cause I’m not from that town at all the transportationvan left me and my ddaughter I was seeking help from a officer on the highway cause I didn’t know about that town at all I’m from pa cps took my daughter so I need help will my charges be down graded cause they charge me with 2 degree

  • Ok, I can definitely help you with this. You can call me directly at my office anytime for a free initial consultation. Thanks.

  • Veronica

    Hi a 39 year old man plead guilty to endangering the welfare of a child. This man tasered by 8 year old Autistic son and tried to taser my 7 year old too. They were both buckled and behind a locked van door. I was lured out of my van for this man got in drivers side and leaned over to taser. Will he be allowed near children again? He has a 7 year old daughter too. He’s already on supervised visits with her. I want to make sure no other child gets hurt. Thank you

  • Candy Sanchez

    My ex is facing 2C:24-4A (2) Endangering-Abuse/Neglect of a Child by Caretaker & 9:6-3 Cruelty & Neglect of Children for harming our 7 month old daughter. What consequences is he facing?