Cherry Hill Stalking Lawyer
When a relationship doe, not blossom the way one person wants and their efforts become excessive, stalking charges can come into play. What is essential in order for this transition to be made and a stalking charge to arise is that the attention become harassing and unreasonable. You can expect a stalking offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10 to be filed when the level of unwanted attentions crosses this threshold. If you were arrested for stalking in Camden County, including in Clementon, Gloucester Township, Merchantville or Waterford, our lawyers possess the know how you need to protect your future. Based in Cherry Hill NJ, our criminal attorneys represent one of the largest defense staffs in the staff with over a century of combined experience defending stalking, harassment and domestic violence offenses. Many of the members of our staff are former prosecutors who have considerable knowledge in the works of the court system. Give our a Cherry Hill stalking attorney at our firm a call anytime of day or night at 856-662-8300 for an immediate free consultation.
Stalking Charge in Pennsauken Or Another Town In Camden
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10, stalking is always an indictable offense (a.k.a. a felony) that can be filed as either a fourth degree or third degree crime depending on the circumstances. The New Jersey Stalking Law prohibits a person from engaging in a course of conduct that causes unreasonable fear or emotional distress to another. There are two (2) elements that the prosecutors needs to prove into order to obtain a conviction for you stalking someone in Winslow, Somerdale, Magnolia, Haddon Heights or elsewhere in Camden County. First, you must have purposely or knowingly engaged in a course of conduct directed at the victim and, second, your actions would have caused a reasonable to fear for their safety or suffer emotional distress. For purposes of this law, the term “course of conduct” means repeatedly maintaining visual or physical proximity to a person; directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, following monitoring, observing, surveilling, threatening, or communicating to or about, a person, or interfering with a person’s property; repeatedly committing harassment against 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.
Definition of “Repeatedly”
Repeatedly, as defined as it pertains to a course of conduct, means that the defendant has engaged in this behavior on two or more occasions.
Organized Picketing Excluded
Picketing during organized group activity is not meant to be encompassed within the meaning of course of conduct. Lastly, emotional distress, as defined by the statute, means significant mental suffering or distress.
Objective v. Subjective Standard Applies
It is important to note that in sentencing, the court does not care about the subjective belief of the person who has been “stalked”. It is an objective standard that the court uses to assess the actions made by the defendant. Therefore the court asks not what this particular victim believed, but what a reasonable person in the victim’s shoes would believe. This can be good for a defendant in a case where the victim is someone who is overly sensitive or hypersensitive to things. So, for a conviction to be entered in a stalking case, the State must prove that the course of conduct of the defendant would cause a reasonable person to believe the immediacy of the threat and the likelihood that it will be carried out.
If the required elements can be established by the prosecutor, you can be found guilty of stalking and be sentenced as provided by law at the Camden County Superior Court.
Grading Of A Stalking Offense In A Municipality Like Voorhees NJ
Stalking is typically a fourth degree crime but can be elevated to a third degree crime under three circumstances. The first way someone can commit third degree stalking is if their actions constitute a violation of an existing court order prohibiting this behavior. The second way for the change to increase to a third degree where the conduct represents his/her second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim. Lastly, a person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he/she 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.
Penalties If You Are Convicted Of Stalking Someone In Haddonfield or Elsewhere
The difference in the penalties between a third and a fourth degree stalking charge are dramatic. Fourth degree stalking carries a fine of up to $10,000 and a state prison sentence that can reach 18 months. In contrast, a third degree crime for stalking can results in as much as 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000. Both varieties of stalking are eligible offenses for Pretrial Intervention provided the defendant has no prior criminal record and is approved by both probation and the prosecutors for admission into the program.
Camden NJ Stalking Defense Attorneys
Stalking is one of those offenses that an conjure up all kinds of thoughts about a person. For this reason, as well as the severity of the penalties, you do not want to be left with a conviction for this offense. The criminal record will undoubtedly affect you for many years to come if you cannot avoid this outcome. Our attorneys will thoroughly analyze the state’s case against you and poke holes wherever possible so that you can move ahead with your life without a conviction on your record. Our considerable knowledge and experience is truly immeasurable in this regard and we encourage you to contact our office for a free consultation about your Camden stalking charge/indictment. An attorney is available immediately to help you at 856-662-8300.