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South Jersey Stalking Defense Attorney
Stalking Charges Lawyer in Camden County, NJ Offers Dedicated Legal Assistance to Clients in Burlington County, Cumberland County, Gloucester County, and Throughout New Jersey
If you have been charged with stalking, a conviction can lead to fines and up to 5 years behind bars. Successive charges can lead to even more serious and extensive punishments and penalties. If you or a family member has been charged with stalking, your best defense is a strong legal team that can handle your case and help you navigate New Jersey’s complex stalking laws. To learn more and for assistance with your case, contact a South Jersey stalking defense attorney at Gelman Law, LLC today.
Stalking as Defined Under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10
As per New Jersey state laws, stalking is a crime of the fourth degree and occurs when an individual either purposefully or knowingly performs actions or follows a course of conduct that is directed at a specific person that can or is expected to cause that person – assuming they are deemed to be reasonable and of sound mind – to fear for their safety or the safety of someone else and/or cause other forms of emotional distress.
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10 uses the term “course of conduct” when defining stalking, and it can take many forms, such as maintaining either visual or physical proximity to a person via any of many available methods (such as in person or via the internet or audio/visual devices or equipment). It can also include repeated attempts to contact the victim through their friends, family members, or online platforms such as via texting, email, or social media. In some cases, these activities can become felonies.
A knowledgeable stalking charges lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ at our firm can help with a wide variety of stalking charges that arise from prohibited actions such as:
- Sending either explicit or implied threats to someone, including their family and/or friends
- Damaging a target’s property, including their home and/or car
- Constantly tracking someone’s location, either personally/physically or by using technology
- Sending unwanted communications to the target such as texts, emails, letters, or even gifts
- Engaging in behavior that aims to attract the target’s attention
If an actor commits these or similar actions on two or more occasions and causes emotional distress to a target, the victim may have grounds for filing stalking charges against the actor. Contact a South Jersey stalking defense attorney at Gelman Law, LLC for assistance with charges arising from any such actions.
A South Jersey Stalking Defense Attorney at Gelman Law, LLC Can Help You Defend Against Penalties for Stalking
Stalking is categorized as a fourth-degree crime in New Jersey and can come with a sentence of up to 18 months in jail. These charges can also be changed to a third-degree charge, in which case the accused can face up to 5 years in prison. However, this only applies under the following circumstances, as per N.J. statute 2C:12-10:
- The accused is found guilty of stalking and violates an existing order that prohibits the stalking behavior in question;
- A person commits a second or subsequent offenses of stalking against the same victim;
- A person stalks someone while serving a prison term or while they are on parole or probation after being convicted for any felony (known as indictable offenses in New Jersey) under New Jersey law or the laws of any other state of the United States.
In addition to the legal and circumstantial specifics of each case, some of the factors that will determine the severity of the penalties the defendant faces if convicted and the degree of the charges levied against them include the relationship between the victim and the alleged stalker, whether there was a previous relationship between the individuals in question, the intent of the accused, and the degree of harm caused to the victim.
To learn more about how we can potentially lower the charges you face and/or seek a reduction in sentencing, speak with a trusted stalking charges lawyer in Camden County, NJ at Gelman Law, LLC today.
Contact a Qualified South Jersey Stalking Defense Attorney at Gelman Law, LLC Today
If you or someone in your family is facing charges for stalking, speak with a stalking charges lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ at our firm right away. We will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and break down the laws and statutes that apply to your case so that we can either have the charges you face dismissed, or the applicable sentences reduced. A strong defense built on the case facts is key to winning your case, so contact our experienced criminal defense team today for assistance with your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Facing Criminal Charges for Stalking in New Jersey
Yes. If the accused is convicted of stalking, the court or a judge can issue a restraining order that will restrict the perpetrator from contacting the victim and/or coming within a certain distance of them. This includes contact via electronic means or through the victim’s friends and family. Restraining orders can even limit where the perpetrator is allowed to live and work and is a useful protection tool for victims of stalking against their harassers.
As per N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10, the accused party can only be found guilty of stalking if it can be shown that they purposefully or knowingly perform actions directed at someone to cause that person distress or harm. Any evidence that can substantiate this can be grounds for a stalking conviction. This means proof such as pictures, electronic messages, social media posts, phone calls, physical proximity, threats, and other actions that can prove that an actor was continually following, harassing, or attempting to contact a victim without their consent can all be used as proof of stalking. Depending on how many times it happens and the circumstances surrounding the actor (such as whether they are on probation or have other court orders against them) then they can be charged with either a fourth-degree crime or a more serious indictable third-degree crime (also known as a felony).