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Middlesex County Criminal Defense Lawyer

  • Over 200 Years of Combined Experience
  • Former Director in Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office
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Third Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Child Endangerment Defense Lawyers in New Brunswick NJ

A third degree charge of endangering the welfare of a child carries significant consequences under New Jersey Law. An individual is not only exposed to significant jail time but must also register under Megan’s law if they are found guilty under N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4 in the third degree. If you or a loved one was charged or has been indicted for endangering in New Brunswick, Edison, Old Bridge, North Brunswick or Piscataway, we can help. Our criminal defense firm has been handlng sex cases for decades with success and also happens to be accessible right across the street from the Superior Court in New Brunswick. An attorney is available immediately to review the facts of your case and set you on the best course for defending the indictment/complaint. Call our New Brunswick Office at 732-246-7126 for a free initial consultation.

Elements of a Third Degree Endangering Offense

There are three (3) elements that the prosecutor must establish in order to obtain a third degree conviction in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4. Each and every one of the following elements must to proven beyond reasonable doubt.:

  1. The accused engaged in sexual conduct with a child;
  2. The conduct impaired or debauched the child’s morals; and
  3. The accused knowingly engaged in the aforesaid conduct.

The endangering the welfare of a child law defines “sexual conduct” broadly to include almost any acts engaged in for sexual gratification utilizing a child in some way, shape or form. For example, putting an adult putting a child on their lap for sexual pleasure, an adult pleasuring while touching a child or asking a child to observe pornography, constitute “sexual conduct” under 2C:24-4.  Whether conduct impairs or debauches a child’s morals is a question for the jury. Jurors are left to their own devices to decide whether the actors conduct impacted the child’s morality.


The penalties if you are convicted of endangering the welfare in the third degree are more significant than those typically involved in this grade of offense. While the maximum fine is $15,000 and prison is five (5) years, there are additional consequences. There is mandatory registration as a sex offender for anyone found guilty of this grade of endangering offense. In addition, there is a requirement that you be under community supervision for life.

New Brunswick Third Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child Lawyer

With the stakes as high as having to register under Megan’s Law as a sex offender, not to mention the jail exposure, an attorney with good knowledge and experience can prove invaluable. Our defense team has over 100 years of collective criminal experience defending endangering the welfare of a child offenses. Reach a seasoned lawyer at our firm immediately free of charge at 732-246-7126.

Related Endangering Offense Resources

Second Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Endangering in the Fourth Degree

First Degree Crime for Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Child Cruelty & Neglect Charge