Stalking charges in Morris County can stem from countless different scenarios. One of the most common one’s is a discrepancy between spouses, ex-lovers or neighbors. What started out as a simple disagreement can turn quickly into what seems like a never ending nightmare. The governing statute in New Jersey for stalking is N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10. Often times Defendant’s charged with stalking in Morris County also find themselves being charged with Aggravated Assault, Harassment, Criminal Mischief, Terroristic Threats as well. In addition, they may also have to defend themselves at a Final Restraining Order Hearing as well. If you or someone you know has been charged with stalking in Morris County, in towns like Parsippany, East Hanover, Boonton, Madison, Mendham, Morristown, Chester or Mount Olive, the law firm of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver can help. Our office has over 100 years of combined experience on staff. We have the experience and skill set required to successfully protect your rights. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation with any one of our eight Morris County, New Jersey criminal defense attorneys, please contact our Morristown office directly at (973) 309-7050. For additional information on the criminal charge of stalking, please check below.
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10: Dover New Jersey Stalking Defense Lawyer
As stated above, the governing statute in New Jersey for the offense of stalking is N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10. Listed below is the statute:
a. As used in this act:
(1) “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.
(2) “Repeatedly” means on two or more occasions.
(3) “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.
b. 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.
c. 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.
d. A person who commits a second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
e. 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.
f. This act shall not apply to conduct which occurs during organized group picketing.
As you can tell from reading the statute, the Legislature chose to write the stalking statute very vaguely. This allows for an experienced defense counsel to make crafty arguments on your behalf in an effort to help persuade the Judge and/or jury why the conduct in question does not rise to the level required to sustain a conviction.
What are the Penalties for Stalking in New Jersey?
Can I go to jail for stalking in NJ?
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10, stalking is either a third or fourth degree felony depending on the circumstances surrounding the charges. If convicted of a fourth degree felony offense in New Jersey, a Defendant could be sentenced up to eighteen (18) months in a State prison, fined up to $10,000 and scared with a permanent criminal record as well. Conversely, a Defendant convicted of a third degree felony in New Jersey could be sentenced up to five (5) years in a State prison, fined up to $15,000 and scared with a permanent criminal record as well. With that being said, defense counsel may be able to convince the Prosecution and the Judge that you deserve an opportunity to participate in the Pretrial Intervention Program (“PTI”). PTI affords certain Defendant’s the opportunity to participate in a diversionary program, whereby if they complete the terms without issue, the pending charges will be dismissed.
Madison, NJ Stalking Defense Attorneys
As you can tell from above, if convicted of stalking in Morris County, you run the risk of not only being scared with a permanent felony criminal record but also a potential lengthy State prison sentence as well. If you or someone you know has been charged with stalking in towns like Mountain Lakes, Florham Park, Long Hill, Chatham, East Hanover, Butler, Boonton or Pequannock, the law offices of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver can help. For a free initial consultation, please contact our Morristown Office at (973) 309-7050.