Child Abuse and Neglect

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Lyndhurst NJ Child Abuse, Cruelty, and Neglect Lawyers

Bergen County NJ Criminal Defense Attorneys 

The Tormey Law Firm in Hackensack, New Jersey is a criminal defense team with lawyers who understand how sex crime accusations are made and how to defend against these allegations. Founding attorney Travis J. Tormey has established a strong reputation throughout the state, in part through his impressive work defending individuals against a wide variety of sex charges, including child abuse, criminal sexual contact, and lewdness. In fact, Mr. Tormey is considered an authority in this area and has been featured in the Asbury Park Press as a legal resource on sex crimes and Megan’s Law in New Jersey.

At The Tormey Law Firm, regularly representing clients in towns such as Ridgefield Park, Mahwah, and Ridgewood and concentrating solely on criminal defense provides us with a unique and powerful edge, which we use to benefit our clients every day. With offices conveniently located in the heart of Bergen County, one of our attorneys is always available immediately to provide you with a free consultation. Contact us at (201)-330-4979 to learn more about the charges and penalties you may be facing. Understanding the nature of the charges against you is truly the first step to achieving a positive outcome.

 

Child Cruelty and Neglect in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 9:6-1 and N.J.S.A. 9:6-3

Child neglect charges in New Jersey are criminalized in the New Jersey criminal code under N.J.S.A. 9-6-1 and N.J.S.A. 9:6-3. These statutes provide, in pertinent part:

N.J.S.A 9:6-1. Abuse, abandonment, cruelty and neglect of child

9:6-1. Abuse, abandonment, cruelty and neglect of child; what constitutes. Abuse of a child shall consist in any of the following acts: (a) disposing of the custody of a child contrary to law; (b) employing or permitting a child to be employed in any vocation or employment injurious to its health or dangerous to its life or limb, or contrary to the laws of this State; (c) employing or permitting a child to be employed in any occupation, employment or vocation dangerous to the morals of such child; (d) the habitual use by the parent or by a person having the custody and control of a child, in the hearing of such child, of profane, indecent or obscene language; (e) the performing of any indecent, immoral or unlawful act or deed, in the presence of a child, that may tend to debauch or endanger or degrade the morals of the child; (f) permitting or allowing any other person to perform any indecent, immoral or unlawful act in the presence of the child that may tend to debauch or endanger the morals of such child; (g) using excessive physical restraint on the child under circumstances which do not indicate that the child’s behavior is harmful to himself, others or property; or (h) in an institution as defined in section 1 of P.L. 1974, c. 119 (C. 9:6-8.21), willfully isolating the child from ordinary social contact under circumstances which indicate emotional or social deprivation.

Abandonment of a child shall consist in any of the following acts by anyone having the custody or control of the child: (a) willfully forsaking a child; (b) failing to care for and keep the control and custody of a child so that the child shall be exposed to physical or moral risk without proper and sufficient protection; (c) failing to care for and keep the control and custody of a child so that the child shall be liable to be supported and maintained at the expense of the public, or by child caring societies or private persons not legally chargeable with its or their care, custody and control.

Cruelty to a child shall consist in any of the following acts: (a) inflicting unnecessarily severe corporal punishment upon a child; (b) inflicting upon a child unnecessary suffering or pain, either mental or physical; (c) habitually tormenting, vexing or afflicting a child; (d) any willful act of omission or commission whereby unnecessary pain and suffering, whether mental or physical, is caused or permitted to be inflicted on a child; (e) or exposing a child to unnecessary hardship, fatigue or mental or physical strains that may tend to injure the health or physical or moral well-being of such child.

Neglect of a child shall consist in any of the following acts, by anyone having the custody or control of the child: (a) willfully failing to provide proper and sufficient food, clothing, maintenance, regular school education as required by law, medical attendance or surgical treatment, and a clean and proper home, or (b) failure to do or permit to be done any act necessary for the child’s physical or moral well-being. Neglect also means the continued inappropriate placement of a child in an institution, as defined in section 1 of P.L. 1974, c. 119 (C. 9:6-8.21), with the knowledge that the placement has resulted and may continue to result in harm to the child’s mental or physical well-being.

 

N.J.S.A. 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.

 

Consequences for Child Abuse, Cruelty, or Neglect in New Jersey 

As the above statutes stipulate, a criminal charge for child abuse, neglect, or cruelty is a fourth degree indictable offense in New Jersey. This is a separate and distinct offense from endangering the welfare of a child under N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4. Convictions for fourth degree crimes can include the following penalties:

  • Jail: A term of incarceration of up to 18 months New Jersey State Prison.
  • Probation: A lengthy period of probation.
  • Fine: A fine of up to $10,000.00.
  • Criminal Record: A permanent indictable (felony) charge on your record.

These charges must be handled at the Superior Court in the county in which the offense allegedly occurred. To learn more, contact our Hackensack offices at (201)-330-4979 for a free consultation.

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