The offense of stalking is a pretty common offense charged in Hudson County, New Jersey. Most stalking cases are directly related to either an ex boyfriend or girlfriend and are usually accompanied by a harassment charge as well as a temporary restraining order. The governing statute in New Jersey for stalking is N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10. As you will see below, stalking can be either a 3rd or 4th degree felony in New Jersey. The team of Hudson County, New Jersey stalking defense attorneys has the experience to successfully protect your freedom. If you have been charged with the offense stalking, harassment, simple assault, eluding, carjacking, cocaine distribution or possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute in Hudson County, in towns like North Bergen, Jersey City, Harrison, West New York, Bayonne, Union City and Hoboken, we can help. If you would like a free initial consultation with any one of the eight Jersey City, NJ stalking defense attorneys on staff at the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall please contact our office directly at (201) 309-1800. Here is some key information on the offense of stalking including the potential penalties and collateral consequences if convicted in New Jersey.
Hudson County NJ Stalking Attorneys: N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3
To be convicted of 4th degree stalking in New Jersey, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant:
- Engaged in speech and/or conduct that was directed towards another person;
- That the speech and/or conduct occurred on at least two different occasions; &
- It was the defendant’s purpose to engage, either directly or indirectly or through a third party in a course of conduct that would cause a “reasonable person” to fear for their safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress.
To be convicted of stalking in the 3rd degree in New Jersey, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in addition to the previous three elements, that the defendant:
- Stalking was in violation of a previously issued court order (i.e. TRO / FRO); or
- This was the defendant’s second or subsequent offense with the same victim; or
- The defendant committed the offense in question while serving a term of imprisonment or while on parole or probation as the result of a conviction for any other felony offense.
What are the penalties if convicted of stalking in NJ?
As previously stated, stalking can be either a third or fourth degree felony in New Jersey. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in a New Jersey state prison and fined up to $15,000. A conviction for a fourth degree felony in New Jersey is punishable by up to eighteen months in a New Jersey state prison and fined up to $10,000. With that being said, a defendant convicted of either a third and fourth degree felony is given the presumption against incarceration, provided this is their first involvement with the criminal justice system. In addition, the New Jersey Legislature has created a diversionary program known as Pre-Trail Intervention, this program was created to give first time, non-violent offenders, the opportunity to participate in a probationary program, whereby if they complete the terms imposed without issue, the felony charges will be outright dismissed. For more information on the pre trial intervention program, please see our PTI page.
Hudson County NJ Stalking Lawyers
Stalking can be either a third or fourth degree felony in New Jersey depending on the facts surrounding incident. A conviction for a third or fourth degree felony will not only subject a defendant to a potential lengthy state prison sentence but also community service, probation, high fines, anger management and felony criminal record. A felony criminal record will almost certainly hinder an individual’s ability to obtain gainful employment, keep or obtain professional licenses and attend your dream college. If you or someone you know has been charged with stalking in towns like Kearny, Secaucus, Hoboken or Jersey City, you should seek out an experienced Hudson County NJ Stalking defense attorney. If you would like a free initial consultation with one of the eight criminal defense attorneys on staff at the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall, please contact our Jersey City office directly at (201) 309-1800.