West Caldwell NJ Stalking Defense Attorney
A common question when facing a charge for stalking in New Jersey is “what exactly constitutes stalking under the law?” Due to the nature of these offenses, stalking charges can be issued in coordination with other charges for harassment or terroristic threats and many times, these criminal charges are accompanied by restraining orders. Depending on the circumstances of the case, stalking can be classified as a third or fourth degree crime. However, both of these are felony-level offenses, which will be adjudicated at the Superior Court in the county associated with the alleged offense and are punishable by a significant term of incarceration for those convicted.
Stalking allegations are often highly complicated cases to resolve, which is why it is essential to enlist the services of a defense attorney who has experience handling these cases. The attorneys at Breslow Law Offices have assisted numerous clients with stalking charges. Contact them anytime to learn more about how they can help you to overcome these serious and potentially damaging allegations and move on with your life.
Stalking in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10
There are several extremely important terms used in the stalking statute, which must be outlined in order to fully understand the law, which is found in N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10 of the Criminal Code. These definitions are as follows:
“Course of conduct” means repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person or repeatedly conveying, or causing to be conveyed, verbal or written threats or threats conveyed by any other means of communication or threats implied by conduct or a combination thereof directed at or toward a person.
“Repeatedly” means on two or more occasions.
“Immediate family” means a spouse, parent, child, sibling or any other person who regularly resides in the household or who within the prior six months regularly resided in the household.
As for the stalking statute, found in N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10, it reads:
1. A person is guilty of stalking, a crime of the fourth degree, if he purposefully or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury to himself or a member of his immediate family or to fear the death of himself or a member of his immediate family.
2. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he commits the crime of stalking in violation of an existing court order prohibiting the behavior.
3. A person who commits a second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
4. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he commits the crime of stalking while serving a term of imprisonment or while on parole or probation as the result of a conviction for any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.
This act shall not apply to conduct which occurs during organized group picketing.
Stalking Charges in Orange NJ or Essex County?
As stated above, stalking is ordinarily classified as a fourth degree crime, which is an indictable offense punishable by up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison. However, in cases in which the defendant has been convicted of stalking previously, the defendant is on probation, or the defendant’s offense occurs in violation of an existing restraining order, the charges are elevated to a third degree crime, which entails a prison sentence ranging from 3 to 5 years.
Clearly, the potential consequences of a stalking conviction can be catastrophic for your life and reputation. To discuss the circumstances of your case free of charge, contact their offices anytime. Begin formulating your defense strategy with the help of attorneys and position yourself for the best possible outcome.