Middlesex County Harassment Lawyer
Some of the most common offenses heard in New Jersey’s criminal courts concern harassment. While this is a petty offense under New Jersey’s Criminal Code, they can still result in time in jail, pay heavy fines, and the creation of restraining orders. For these reasons, anyone charged with harassment should take these allegations seriously. One way to do so is to consult an experienced Middlesex County harassment lawyer.
Skilled domestic violence attorneys work with people to ensure they understand the potential punishments and to examine the prosecution’s case for any weaknesses. Throughout the process, they can protect your Constitutional rights and defend your freedoms.Allegations of Harassment
The core concept of harassment is a simple one. According to New Jersey Statute 2C:33-4, harassment includes:
- Communicating with another person in a way that is likely to cause annoyance or harm
- Subjecting another to any type of offensive touching or threatening to do so
- Engaging in any sort of repeated conduct with the purpose of annoying or alarming another person
In some ways, harassment is simply a lower version of other criminal activities. For example, violently striking another person is a classic definition of assault but can also be considered harassment. Also illegal is making repeated, unwelcome communications that cause fear in the mind of another. This is an example of stalking. Harassment, therefore, constitutes a low-level offense that law enforcement can use when the more serious offenses do not apply to the situation.Consequences for These Actions
Since harassment is considered a low-level offense, the potential penalties for harassment are among the lightest in New Jersey. Harassment is a petty disorderly persons offense. This carries a potential maximum jail sentence of 30 days and no more than $500 in fines.
However, if the accused was on parole, in jail, or on probation at the time of the harassment, the court may upgrade the charge to a fourth-degree offense. This can result in a maximum prison term of 18 months and a felony criminal record. In this way, harassment charges can range from mere nuisances to serious accusations. A Middlesex County harassment lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties that a person may face.
In some situations, a harassment charge may also lead to the creation of a protective order. If an alleged victim can demonstrate to the court that they legitimately fear for their wellbeing as a result of the accused’s alleged conduct, the court may restrict the person’s movement while awaiting trial. This can force someone out of their home and require them to cease all contact with the alleged victim.How a Middlesex County Harassment Attorney Can be an Advocate
Allegations of harassment are usually petty disorderly persons offenses. As a result, many people do not take these charges seriously. However, they could still result in a person being sent to jail. Even worse, if a person is on probation or parole at the time of the offense, the charge is transformed into a felony.
No matter the situation, a Middlesex County harassment lawyer may be able to help. Working with a lawyer may increase the chances of a positive outcome in a harassment case in Middlesex County. Contact an attorney today to learn how they may be able to help you.