An arrest for stalking can be a very serious matter. If you have been indicted or arrested for stalking in New York or New Jersey, you need skilled criminal defense lawyers to defend you of this charge. Our criminal attorneys are knowledgeable in the stalking laws in NJ and NY.
For an individual to be found guilty of stalking, they must cause another reasonable person, the “victim”, to feel imminently threatened. The prior relationship and actions of the two individuals, such as whether prior threats were made or acted out by the accused stalker, is relevant and will be considered in a stalking case. Under NJ state law, stalking laws do not apply to conduct during organized group picketing.
New Jersey Law provides that:
- Anyone is guilty of stalking as a Fourth Degree Offense if they engage in course of conduct, knowingly or purposefully, that is directed at a specific person and would cause that person to fear bodily injury or death for themselves or a member of their immediate family.
o “Course of conduct” in a stalking case means repeatedly maintaining a physical or visual proximity to another person, repeatedly conveying written or verbal threats through any means of communication, or threats implied by a combination of conduct and communication. Repeatedly refers to two or more occasions.
o “Immediate family” refers to a parent, child, sibling, spouse, and anyone who resides currently or has resided in the household regularly within six months prior to the incident.
Stalking is usually considered a Fourth Degree Offense in New Jersey. However, the charge may be enhanced to a Third Degree Crime under the following three circumstances:
- The stalking behavior violates an existing Court Order prohibiting the behavior
- Previous offenses of stalking have been committed against the same victim
- The stalking incident occurred while the accused stalked was in jail or on parole or probation
for an indictable offense.
A Fourth Degree stalking indictment can result in jail time of up to 18 months. However, if the offense is elevated to a Third Degree stalking indictment, the charge can involve up to 5 years in jail.
Contact Ellis Law for powerful representation in New Jersey or New York. Our criminal defense lawyers will help protect you and your rights. We can be reached by telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 888-ELLIS-LAW (888-355-4752) or contact us online. We speak Spanish, Russian, Yiddish, Portuguese and Hebrew.