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Child Neglect & Cruelty
New Brunswick NJ Child Endangerment & Abuse Defense Lawyers
Whenever allegations of child abuse, cruelty or neglect are involved, the related criminal offense is serious. While prosecutors typically file endangering the welfare of a child charges in cases of this nature, another offense that may be filed is contained at N.J.S.A. 9:6-3 (“Cruelty and Neglect of Children”). Altough a charge under section 9:6-3 arises out of the same conduct as would apply in the case of an endangering offense, this charge is limited to a fourth degree crime. As with all felony offenses, however, there is the potential for very serious ramifications, including prison and loss of custody. If you have been charged with any form of child abuse or neglect in Monroe, North Brunswick, Sayreville, South Amboy or another town, our defense lawyers can help you. We are Middlesex County’s largest criminal firm, employee former prosecutors that include Jason Seidman, an ex assistant at the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office, and have decades of experience defending clients just like you. For a free initial consultation with an attorney on our staff, call our office in New Brunswick at 732-246-7126 for immediate assistance.
New Jersey Cruelty and Neglect of Child
As stated, the cruelty and neglect law is contained at N.J.S.A. 9:6-3. This law provides that:
9:6-3. Cruelty and neglect of children; crime of fourth degree; remedies
9:6-3. Any parent, guardian or person having the care, custody or control of any child, who shall abuse, abandon, be cruel to or neglectful of such child, or any person who shall abuse, be cruel to or neglectful of any child shall be deemed to be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. If a fine be imposed, the court may direct the same to be paid in whole or in part to the parent, or to the guardian, custodian or trustee of such minor child or children; provided, however, that whenever in the judgment of the court it shall appear to the best interest of the child to place it in the temporary care or custody of a society or corporation, organized or incorporated under the laws of this State, having as one of its objects the prevention of cruelty to children, and the society or corporation is willing to assume such custody and control, the court may postpone sentence and place the child in the custody of such society or corporation, and may place defendant on probation, either with the county probation officers or an officer of the society or corporation to which the child is ordered, and may order the parent, guardian or person having the custody and control of such child to pay to such society or corporation a certain stated sum for the maintenance of such child. When, however, a child is so placed in the custody of such society or corporation, and defendant fails to make the payments as ordered by the court, the court shall cause the arrest and arraignment before it of such defendant, and shall impose upon the defendant the penalty provided in this section.
What constitutes abuse or neglect? It is abuse or neglect for a parent or guardian to inflict physical injury on a child, allow another to do so, or to cause or create a substantial risk of death or physical or emotional injury. While this definition would obviously include extreme conduct like allowing a child to be subjected to sexual, it also includes situations where a parent or guardian fails to exercise the minimum amount of care necessary to insure that the child’s physical, mental or emotional condition is not impaired. Wilful abandonment of a child would fall within this definition.
Important Differences Between a Cruelty Charge and Endangering. An endangering the welfare of a child offense requires a supervisory or parental/guardian relationship with the child, whereas a Title 9 Cruelty and Neglect charge has no such requirement. Endangering also has the possibility of triggering a Megan’s law sex offender registry requirement whereas this offense never does. In many ways, the Title 9 Cruelty and Neglect of Children statute is designed to be a broader, less-severe discretionary alternative for prosecutors to utilize.
Penalties for Child Cruelty and Child Abuse Under Title 9
As stated, a conviction under this law is a 4th degree crime. A term in prison of eighteen (18) months may be imposed, along with a fine of up to $10,000, may be imposed upon conviction. In addition, the court is permitted, in its discretion, to remove the child from the custody of a parent or guardian if it is in the best interests of the child to do so.
Perth Amboy Child Abuse Attorney
Perth Amboy has its share of endangering and child abuse cases. Whether you were arrested in this municipality or another one in the area, you need to take the offense extremely serious. Your ability to maintain custody of your child, not to mention your having to withstand significant penalties, could certainly be effected if you are found guilty of having abused a child in Middlesex Borough, Spotswood, Jameburg, South River or another municipality. Hiring an attorney who is capable of thoroughly defending your case is your best weapon to avert such negative consequences. The lawyers on the staff of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are here to assist you in this role. To speak to a lawyer now, call our Woodbridge Office at 732-634-0700.
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