The New Jersey Criminal Code makes it a crime to engage in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety, the safety of another, or suffer emotional distress. This violation is referred to as “stalking” and includes not only activities involving personal contact but also telephone and internet communications. Whether you were arrested for following someone in your car, on foot, or through cyber means like Facebook or Twitter, stalking charges can be extremely serious since a conviction can result in as much as five (5) years in state prison. The good news is, however, that our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, can definitely help you avoid such a result. With a criminal defense team composed of former County and Municipal Prosecutors and over 100 years of combined legal experience, we possess the tools to identify the best strategy to achieve a dismissal or downgrade of your stalking charge. If you have been charged with stalking in Essex County in towns like Caldwell, Glen Ridge Cedar Grove, Belleville, Bloomfield or West Orange, the Law Office of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver can help. An attorney is available at 973-710-1520 to provide immediate assistance or to set up an appointment in our Newark Office.
Stalking Lawyers in Roseland NJ
New Jersey Stalking Attorneys: What Does The Prosecutor Need To Prove?
Conviction for stalking requires the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that: (1) an individual purposely or knowingly, (2) engaged in a course of conduct, (3) the course of conduct was directed at a specific person, AND (4) the conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear for (i) his safety, (ii) the safety of another, or (iii) suffer emotional distress. For these purposes, a “course of conduct” means repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person, by direct or indirectly following, observing, monitoring, threatening or communicating to or about a person or interfering with their property, repeatedly harassing a person, or repeatedly sending verbal or written threats. An individual must act purposely or knowingly to satisfy the elements of the stalking statute. A person acts purposely when it is their conscious object or intent to achieve a certain result. A person acts knowingly when they are aware of the occurrence of a thing, or they are aware of a high probability of its existence.
Under the New Jersey Stalking statute, an individual can be found guilty of stalking without themselves ever having seen the victim. Provided the defendant causes the individual to fear for their safety, the safety of another, or their emotional distress it is largely inconsequential how this is achieved. The term course of conduct is written quite broadly, and it covers a range of different activities that can put a person at fear of harm. Accordingly, individuals requesting another to make threats or otherwise scare another individual can be guilty of stalking without ever interacting with their victim.
Penalties If You Are Convicted Of Stalking in NJ?
Stalking is typically a fourth degree crime punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine. Stalking is enhanced to a third degree crime where the conduct is in violation of a restraining order, where it is a second or subsequent instance of stalking, or where the defendant is currently serving a custodial sentence or is on parole. This third degree offense carries a potential punishment of up to five (5) years in prison as well as a $15,000 fine.
Stalking Attorneys in Essex County NJ
For assistance with your pending stalking, disorderly conduct, terroristic threats, criminal mischief, harassment or aggravated assault charges, contact the Law Offices of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver. With eight criminal defense lawyers on staff, our office is one of the largest criminal defense firms in the State let alone Essex County. Our Essex County criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience representing clients charged with criminal offenses in towns like South Orange, Irvington, Milburn, Fairfield, Nutley and Newark. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge and a lawyer can be reached day and night at 973-710-1520.