NJ Child Abuse Laws and Punishments
The choice to have a child, whether through birth or adoption is a big responsibility. It sounds great on paper and can be extremely rewarding as a parent, but there is a lot of work involved in the care of a child. On top of that, a parent’s job never ends no matter how old their child or children might grow. As a parent, it is your responsibility to foster the growth of your child and do whatever it takes to make sure they have a comfortable and happy life.
Unfortunately, not everyone can be a good parent and instead of fostering their child’s growth, they end up harming them. The consequences of such child abuse may be temporary or it may end up having long-term effects.
In the state of New Jersey, child abuse is taken very seriously. There are laws with harsh consequences that have been put in place in an effort to keep children as safe as possible while they grow.
Committing sexual actions against a child are considered abusive, especially since children are not considered able to grant consent. These acts do not have to be by force but can happen at the hands of coercion, bribery demands or by lying.
Discipline is another area where child abuse can often arise. When determining if the discipline of a child is abuse, a court looks at if the parent’s actions are in the best interest of the child and are determined on a situational basis.
Physical attacks against a child are considered assault and fall under the category of abuse. Common injuries that stem from assault can be bruises or cuts and even broken bones and burns. Even if the parent does not intend to cause injury, if they intentionally assault a child it is also considered abuse.
An example of neglect would be leaving a child at home to care for themselves if they are too young to actually look after themselves. Also, not providing proper shelter, regular medical care or emotional support can also constitute abuse by neglect.
When convicted of child abuse it is considered a fourth-degree crime and a felony offense. The penalty includes a fine up to $10,000, possible probation and up to 18 months in jail. There will also be a permanent felony charge on your record and those who sexually abused their child would have to register as a child sex offender. You may also have to register with the Child Abuse Registry, marking you as a child abuser forever.
Another consequence could lead to the termination of parental rights, which means courts can impose a restraining order, require supervised visitation with the child or even place the child under protective custody with a state agency or foster family.
As clearly evidenced, child abuse is a serious charge and one that can permanently damage your reputation. If you or a loved one are facing child abuse charges then you need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
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Look no further than the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty for your needs. John W. Tumelty has over 30 years of experience handling criminal charges and will put his skills to work giving you the best possible defense. Call 609-385-4010 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.