Wall New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and all surrounding NJ areas.
Under New Jersey’s criminal code, harassment is a crime charged as a petty disorderly persons offense. However, charges can be greater under certain circumstances: a person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, in committing an offense of harassment, he/she was serving a term of imprisonment or was on parole or probation as the result of a conviction of any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.
Oftentimes, innocent people are accused of harassment by hostile family members, spouses, or even angry neighbors. While motives may vary, from attempting to strengthen child custody case or divorce proceedings, to revenge, or even a simple case of misunderstanding, charges of harassment are serious.
Regardless of whether you are innocent, or knowingly, or unknowingly violated the law, you need a skilled attorney who will take the time and effort to review your case, examine the evidence, and aggressively refute false accusations. The prosecutor’s job is to prove the elements of harassment existed; as defense attorneys, our job is to prove they did not, or to have charges reduced, and to defend against unfair or unnecessary restraining orders.
Call Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC. today at 732-303-7857 to arrange a free consultation.
Important Elements of Proving Harassment
Intent. Simply annoying someone unintentionally is not harassment. The “communications” must be shown to have taken place for the purpose of harassing another person(s.)
Communication. It is important to understand “communication” includes, phone calls, voice mails, emails, text messages, face-to-face conversations, and letters. You do not have to have made the communications yourself; if you had someone else harass another person on your behalf, you may also be found guilty of harassment.
In general, in order to obtain a conviction, the prosecutor must show that a defendant committed a petty disorderly persons offense if, with purpose to harass another, he:
- Made, or caused to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm
- Subjected another individual to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatened to do so
- Engaged in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person
Penalties for Conviction on Charges of Harassment
You may be required to pay a fine (up to $500), pay restitution to the victim, and could be subject to loss of driving privileges, and probation. Additionally:
- Petty Disorderly Persons Offense. If convicted of harassment as a petty disorderly persons offense you can receive a maximum jail sentence of up to 30 days.
- 4th Degree Offense. If you are convicted of harassment as a fourth degree offense you may be sentenced to up to 18 months in jail.
Either way, if convicted of harassment it will appear on your criminal record.
We Will Build a Solid Legal Defense Against Harassment Charges
Our attorneys are former prosecutors; we know how the prosecution thinks and works. We also know New Jersey criminal law, and that often, harassment charges are often unfounded. After reviewing your case, we may request a probable cause hearing to determine whether or not your actions should have resulted in a harassment complaint against you. If no problem cause is found, a municipal court judge has the power to dismiss a harassment complaint against you.
You owe it to yourself to contact our firm today for a free consultation, either through the form on this page or by calling 732-303-7857 . Our clients can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via our office.