When a person is accused of committing a crime in New Jersey, he or she will be taken into custody at a county jail or holding center in the county where the arrest occurred.  However, all detainees have a right to bail under the New Jersey Constitution.  The bail amount must be set within 12 hours of the criminal complaint being issued against the defendant.  Bail can be quite expensive, and can vary dramatically from crime to crime depending on the nature and severity of the alleged offense.  Here, our Atlantic City child pornography attorneys review the possible bail amounts for endangering the welfare of a child, or child pornography possession and distribution charges, under N.J.S.A. § 2C:24-4.  

Categories of Indictable Crimes (Felony Offenses)

Most states call serious crimes felonies.  In New Jersey, felonies are described using the terms “indictable crime,” “indictable offense,” or simply the word “crime.”

Indictable crimes are divided into four categories: crimes of the first degree, crimes of the second degree, crimes of the third degree, and crimes of the fourth degree.  The lower the number, the more serious the offense, and the greater the potential penalties if the defendant is convicted or pleads guilty.

Endangering the welfare of a child, commonly referred to as child endangerment, is an indictable sex crime involving teens and children under the age of 18.  There are several different scenarios in which a person can be charged with child endangerment, which is important because the defendant’s bail amount depends on the exact details of the alleged crime.  Bail amounts for child endangerment and child pornography charges in New Jersey, and the circumstances under which they are set, are described below.

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If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of child pornography, it is imperative to contact an experienced New Jersey child pornography defense attorney immediately.

Bail Amounts for Defendants Charged with Child Endangerment in New Jersey

  • Third Degree
    • Charge – N.J.S.A. § 2C:24-4a(1)
    • Description – The defendant participates in sexual conduct that would harm a child’s morals.
    • Bail Amount – $20,000 to $50,000
  • Second Degree 
    • Charge – N.J.S.A. § 2C:24-4a(1)
    • Description – Having agreed or assumed a legal duty to care for a child, the defendant participates in sexual activities that would “impair or debauch” the child’s morals.
    • Bail Amount – $50,000 to $100,000
  • Third Degree 
    • Charge – N.J.S.A. § 2C:24-4a(2)
    • Description – The defendant inflicts harm that would make the victim fit the legal definition of a neglected or abused child.
    • Bail Amount – $20,000 to $50,000
  • Second Degree
    • Charge – N.J.S.A. § 2C:24-4a(2)
    • Description – Having agreed to care for a child, or having taken on the legal duty to do so, the defendant inflicts harm that would make the victim fit the legal definition of a neglected or abused child.
    • Bail Amount – $50,000 to $100,000

How Much is Bail for Child Pornography Possession and Distribution?

Some child endangerment charges specifically involve the possession, production, and/or distribution of child pornography.  These offenses, and the associated bail amounts, are listed below.

  • Third Degree 
    • Charge – N.J.S.A. § 2C:24-4b(5)(b)
    • Description – The defendant knowingly looks at, owns, receives, or controls by any means, including via internet, any piece of child pornography (any item depicting a child being sexually exploited or abused).  It may be possible to defeat this charge if the defendant accidentally downloaded child pornography, as acting knowingly is an element of the offense.
    • Bail Amount – $20,000 to $50,000
  • Second Degree 
    • Charge – N.J.S.A. § 2C:24-4b(5)(a)
    • Description – The defendant either (1) knowingly distributes child pornography over the internet or other channels, (2) knowingly possesses child pornography with intent to distribute it, or (3) deliberately stores child pornography online using a file-sharing program which would allow people on other computers to view or download the item(s).
    • Bail Amount – $50,000 to $100,000
  • Second Degree 
    • Charge – N.J.S.A. § 2C:24-4b(4)
    • Description – The defendant films or photographs a child engaging in a “prohibited sexual act,” whether real or simulated.  This offense may also be charged when the defendant uses a computer (or any other device) to reproduce images of a child or children engaged in sexual acts, whether real or simulated.  The term “prohibited sexual act” is defined to include sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal), masturbation, sadism, masochism, cunnilingus, fellatio, bestiality, and any nudity for the purpose of sexual arousal.
    • Bail Amount – $50,000 to $100,000
  • First Degree  
    • Charge – N.J.S.A. § 2C:24-4b(3)
    • Description – The defendant causes or allows a child to participate in a prohibited sexual act while intending, knowing, or having reason to know that the act will be filmed, photographed, or otherwise represented, or will be distributed on the internet.  See the charge listed immediately above for the definition of prohibited sexual acts.
    • Bail Amount – $100,000 to $250,000

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Contact An Atlantic City Criminal Lawyer if You’ve Been Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

Felony child pornography possession is one of the most serious crimes a defendant can ever stand accused of committing.  Prosecutors come down hard on defendants who have been charged with sex crimes against children, and the penalties for a conviction can be extremely severe.  You could be fined thousands of dollars, be incarcerated for many years, and be forced to register as a sex offender in New Jersey, potentially destroying your career and your personal relationships.

You need to make sure that your rights are protected by a team of highly experienced and aggressive Atlantic City sex crime attorneys.  We also represent defendants who have been charged with child molestation in New Jersey.  Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 to set up your free legal consultation today.  We will keep your information confidential.