Middlesex County Stalking Lawyer
People facing allegations of stalking may be confused about some aspects of their case, especially since those charged with stalking may have never caused direct harm to another individual. In some cases, a simple miscommunication between two parties may lead to unwarranted criminal charges. However, actions that cause an another to fear for their well-being could lead to valid stalking charges with serious potential consequences.
A Middlesex County stalking lawyer may be able to defend the rights and freedoms of people who are charged with stalking. Should you choose to retain one, your criminal defense attorney may be able to examine the prosecutor’s case, conduct an independent investigation, and work to develop a strong defense on your behalf.Stalking Laws Applicable to Middlesex County
Stalking is legally defined by New Jersey Revised Statutes §2C:12-10 as any situation in which individuals knowingly commit actions directed at another that may cause reasonable fear or emotional distress. Generally, stalking may lead to a fourth-degree felony charge and associated penalties upon conviction.
Certain actions could elevate the potential punishments associated with stalking charges. For example, prior convictions of stalking involving the same individual may elevate the charge to a third-degree felony offense. If a stalking offense occurs that violates a protective order or while the alleged perpetrator is on probation, that may also elevate the offense to a third-degree charge.
Third-degree felony convictions carry a potential prison sentence of three to five years. A dedicated Middlesex County stalking attorney may be able to help clarify how previous convictions or specific actions related to a case may increase the severity of charges.Middlesex County Course of Conduct
New Jersey state law also outlines the definition of the legal concept of a “course of conduct.” A course of conduct suggesting stalking usually incorporates one or more of the following elements:
- Repeatedly maintaining physical or visual closeness
- Interference or destruction of another’s property
- Written or verbal threats
Generally, stalking claims are based on whether the conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear for their well-being. Actions that one individual may not consider dangerous could worry another or cause them to fear for their safety.
It may fall to a jury to determine if an alleged course of conduct is sufficient to cause reasonable fear or emotional distress to the point that a stalking charge is warranted. A stalking lawyer in Middlesex County may be able to demonstrate to a jury that if alleged conduct did take place, it would not cause reasonable distress to an individual.Fighting Back Against Stalking Allegations
Experienced lawyers may use various potential defenses to protect a defendant’s rights in court. For instance, if the charge involves allegations that a defendant followed the other party without consent, their attorney could work to demonstrate that there was consent or even an explicit invitation preceding the activity. While every case is unique, a Middlesex County stalking lawyer may be able to help to develop a defense that works for an individual’s unique circumstances.Let a Middlesex County Stalking Attorney Help
Allegations of stalking may come as a complete surprise to many people, and often innocent misunderstandings could lead to charges. Regardless of their source, however, the potential consequences for a conviction on stalking charges may be harsh, especially if additional factors elevate the charge’s severity. A mere accusation could even result in the creation of protective orders that may alter your living situation, ability to travel freely, and ability to find work.
If you are facing stalking charges, consider contacting a dedicated Middlesex County stalking lawyer to take the rights steps toward a positive result. Your attorney may be able to analyze your case and collect evidence on your behalf to build a strong defense and effectively combat allegations of stalking. Call today to find out more.