The Accomplished Criminal Attorneys At Our Firm Include Former Prosecutors Who Are Highly Skilled In Defending Cyber Harassment Cases
The rise in social media and use of the internet has led to creation of the offense of cyber harassment. Whether its the result of posting nude photographs or videos on facebook, instagram or another website, text messaging, emails, blog posts, creation of fictitious accounts or by other means, harassment of this nature is a serious criminal offense. If you were charged with cyber harassment under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4.1, it is crucially important that you retain a highly skilled defense attorney so that you have the best chance of escaping a felony record and severe penalties that include the possibility of years in prison. Allegations of online abuse, revenge porn, cyber bullying or cyber stalking can clearly have a negative impact on your future so you need to take this charge serious by enlisting a lawyer as soon as possible.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have exactly what you need to mount an effective defense with qualifications that are clearly exceptional. Our team can offer you:
- Over 200 years of combined experience defending harassment, domestic violence and related criminal charges
- 12 lawyers that dedicate their practice exclusively to representing those accused of violating the law
- Former county and municipal prosecutors that have served at the highest levels throughout New Jersey
- Certified criminal trial attorneys on staff
For a free consultation with a lawyer on our staff anytime 24/7, contact our office at 877-450-8301. Lawyers are ready to discuss your charge now.
New Jersey Cyber Harassment Law
An individual commits the offense of cyber harassment in violation of 2C:33-4.1 if, with the purpose to harass, they communicate online, through a electronic device, or social media: (1) threats to cause injury or harm to another person or their property; (2) send or post lewd, indecent, or obscene material with the intent to emotionally harm a reasonable person or place a reasonable person in fear of physical or emotional harm; or (3) threaten to commit a crime (i.e. fourth, third, second or first degree crime) against another person or their property. The headings below explain some of the most frequently encountered topics under the cyber statute.
Elements of Proof. There are four elements of proof in order to convict someone for cyber harassment. First, the state must prove that the defendant made a communication or posted something. Second, the conduct must have involved the internet, social media or electronic means. Third, the conduct must have been for the purpose to harass. Fourth, the communication or post must have included a threat to person or property, to commit a crime, or involved lewd, indecent or obscene material.
Grading of Offense. Cyber harassment is ordinarily a fourth degree crime. The offense is enhanced to a third degree crime where the accused is 21 years of age or older and impersonates a minor to cyber harass a minor.
Penalties for Cyber Harassment. A fourth degree crime for cyber harassment results in a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison. Third degree cyber harassment carries up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.
Juvenile Under 16 Who Engages in Cyber Harassment. When the defendant is a minor under the age of 16, a conviction for cyber harassment results in an additional penalty that includes mandatory classes or training to reduce cyber-harassment or to bring awareness to the dangers of this behavior. You should also know that failure to fulfill this condition results in a separate disorderly persons offense.
Relationship Between Cyber Harassment & Domestic Violence. Cyber harassment is considered a form of domestic violence when it is committed against someone who falls under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. The classic example of someone having standing in this context is an ex spouse, ex boyfriend/girlfriend or someone with whom the defendant had a previous dating relationship. Such a victim is permitted to not only seek a criminal charge for cyber harassment but also apply for a temporary restraining order to bar any contact or communications by the accused in the future.
Bail & Pretrial Release After Being Charged With Cyber Harassment. New Jersey has essentially eliminated the posting of money or a bond to secure pretrial release. When someone is arrested on a warrant complaint as opposed to a summons, they are subject to pretrial detention and must be held until their initial appearance before a judge who must set conditions for their release. This is almost always the case (i.e. warrant complaint necessitating detention) when cyber harassment occurs in the context of domestic violence. What all of this means is that you could spend a day or more in the county jail before you are released following an arrest for cyber harassment. Custody could even extend beyond a few days if the prosecutors files a motion to detain.
NJ Cyber Harassment Defense Lawyer
An arrest for cyber-harassment can negatively impact your future whether they stem from allegations of stalking online, cyber bullying, posting nude pictures or videos, or other harassing behavior through the internet. Enlisting the services of a talented criminal attorney like those at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is important for anyone put into this position. Attorneys who are experienced in the court system and adapt in defending charges involving cyber harassment can provide you with the tools to avoid an offense altogether, have it downgraded or secure admission into a diversionary program like Pretrial Intervention. If you are facing a cyber harassment charge in NJ and would like the opportunity for a free consultation with one of our lawyers anytime 24/7, call 877-450-8301.