Burlington NJ Stalking Attorneys
The line between friendly and unwanted conduct can become blurred and, when this occurs, in Burlington County, you can find yourself indicted for stalking in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 12-10. The objective of this law is to deter repetitive harassing or threatening behavior by one party against another. Whether or not the laws actually accomplishes that is irrelevant for our discussion, as our goal here is to assist you in avoiding a negative outcome. Our criminal staff, which is one of the largest in NJ with several former prosecutors, represents individuals charged with stalking in towns like Florence, Bordentown, Riverside, Palmyra, all the time. To discuss your offense in detail, you are encouraged to contact us in Mt. Laurel any time of day for a free consultation.
Stalking Charge at the Burlington County Superior Court, Mount Holly NJ
Depending on the circumstances of your case, a stalking charge under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10 may be classified as either a third or fourth degree offense, each of which is indictable and handled by the Burlington County Superior Court in Mt. Holly. If convicted, a third degree offense exposes you to five (5) years in a state prison as compared to a fourth degree that carries up to 18 months. There is also a maximum fine of $15,000 and $10,000, respectively. It is also common for someone facing a stalking offense to also be subject to indictment in Mt. Holly for charges of harassment, a restraining order violation or terroristic threats.
- When Is Someone Guilty Of Stalking? To be convicted of violating N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10 (“Stalking”), you must purposely or knowingly engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person. This conduct must be such that a reasonable person would fear for his safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress.
- What Is the Difference Between Third Degree & Fourth Degree Stalking? There are three circumstances in which a Burlington stalking charge may be elevated to a third degree crime. Stalking is a third degree crime where: (1) it is committed in violation of an existing court order prohibiting this behavior; or (2) the violation represents a second or subsequent offense of stalking by the defendant against the same victim; or (3) if the stalking was committed while the defendant was 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 New Jersey or any other State.
Restraining Order and Stalking Charges in Mount Holly, NJ
Stalking charges and convictions carry repercussions in the form of retraining orders. This, along with the fact that a violation of a no contact order or a restraining order is one of the enhancing factors for third degree stalking charges, make it imperative that you understand both how these hearings work and how they will affect your case. In this regard, the mere allegation of stalking, where the victim is under 18, allows the municipal court judge initially hearing the charge in Beverly, Maple Shade, Willingboro or another town, to impose a temporary restraining order. This temporary order remains in effect subject to the outcome of a final restraining order hearing held in the Family Division at the Burlington Superior Court within 10 days of entry of the order. At the hearing, the standard for continuing the temporary restraining order is by a preponderance of the evidence. This standard is far below that of beyond a reasonable doubt, which is used in criminal matters. If the court rules that the temporary restraining order is continued, the order must remain in effect until either: the defendant is convicted of stalking, or the victim’s parent or guardian or, in the case of a victim who has reached the age of 18, the victim, requests that the restraining order be dismissed and the court finds just cause to do so.
If in the unfortunate event you are convicted of stalking, said conviction will operate as an application for a permanent restraining order limiting the contact of the defendant and the victim who was stalked. Another hearing must be held on the application for a permanent restraining order at the time of the verdict or plea of guilty unless the victim requests otherwise. Generally, the parameters of this restraining order include: 1) restraining the defendant from entering the residence, property, school, or place of employment of the victim; 2) requiring the defendant to stay away from any specified place that is named in the order and is frequented regularly by the victim; and 3) restraining the defendant from making contact with the victim, including an order forbidding the defendant from personally or through an agent initiating any communication likely to cause annoyance or alarm.
Mount Laurel Stalking Offense Lawyers
If you were arrested in Lumberton, Medford, Evesham or elsewhere in Burlington for stalking, our staff can assist you. As previously stated, we have extensive experience in all criminal matters including stalking charges. There certainly is no doubt in our mind that we can effectively defend your charge but the first step must be taken by you to contact us for a free consultation. Do not make the mistake made by so many facing charges like this, that is, seeking assistance from an attorney when the charge is too far along or after you have already been convicted. The time to act is now as our attorneys need to come to your aid before damage is done. Call us 24/7 to speak to one of our lawyers free of charge.