Is Stalking a Crime in New Jersey?

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By New Jersey law, stalking is defined as purposeful conduct that may make a reasonable person fear bodily injury or death to themselves or a family member. Further, such purposeful conduct may be viewed as knowingly, recklessly, and negligently placing that person in such fear. Now that you know what stalking exactly is, you must understand its legality or rather illegality. Read on to discover whether stalking is considered a crime and how one of the experienced New Jersey & Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. can help you avoid being punished for it.

Is stalking considered a crime in the state of New Jersey?

It is worth noting that several forms of purposeful conduct constitute stalking under the eyes of New Jersey law. Namely, this may be if a person repeatedly shows up at another’s place of work or home. Or, this may be if a person repeatedly contacts another person or their family members via phone calls, social media messaging, or otherwise. Regardless, if a stalking accusation is brought to the attention of the New Jersey criminal court, it will likely be charged as a crime of the fourth degree.

However, this may be upgraded to a crime of the third degree if this puts a person in violation of their existing court order prohibiting this behavior (i.e., subsequent or second offense). Or, this upgrade may apply if a person commits this act while serving a term of imprisonment or is on parole or probation for any indictable offense (i.e., felony). Lastly, this upgrade may apply if it is found that a person intentionally or knowingly participated in such harmful conduct.

What are the punishments for stalking in the state of New Jersey?

If a stalking charge is considered a crime of the fourth degree, it may come with a prison sentence of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000. But if it is upgraded to a crime of the third degree, the upgraded punishments may be a prison sentence of three to five years and a fine of up to $15,000. Primarily, though, a stalking charge may call for a restraining order. This is to prevent a person from having any further contact with the victim or attempting to contact them or their family members.

A restraining order may pose many psychological damages to a person, with just the thought of knowing that their personal space and freedom of movement is now limited. This is not to mention the diminished self-esteem that comes with carrying this reputation around, along with the collateral damage of severed ties with other loved ones.

So, if you believe that you have been falsely accused of stalking, you must allow for justice to reign. This is to say that it may be in your best interest to retain the services of one of the experienced New Jersey & Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers. Contact The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. today.

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