Monmouth County Stalking Lawyer
In some cases, stalking accusations could arise from simple misunderstandings between individuals. However, a stalking violation could result in a felony conviction or potential protective orders against you. This may make it difficult to find a job, maintain relationships, or secure a place to live.
It may be beneficial for you to speak with a seasoned criminal defense attorney if you or a loved one were charged with stalking behavior. A Monmouth County stalking lawyer could help you understand your charges and advise on how you should proceed towards securing a positive outcome.Stalking in Monmouth County
New Jersey Revised Statutes §2C:12-10 defines criminal stalking as intentional, consistent conduct directed towards another that causes an individual emotional distress or to fear or their safety or the safety of another.
Criminal stalking typically involves following another person physically, visually, or digitally. Using a third party to track another’s movements or initiating unwanted communication with an individual on two or more occasions, especially in a threatening or harassing manner, could both potentially lead to stalking charges.
Since stalking has such a broad definition, many seemingly innocent actions could constitute stalking to a criminal degree. Individuals who are unsure of how their actions could be interpreted may wish to consult a Monmouth County stalking attorney with experience building strong defenses to discuss their situation.Criminal Penalties for Stalking
Stalking is generally charged as a fourth-degree felony. However, certain factors could elevate stalking to a third-degree felony, including:
- Violation of an existing court order, such as a protective or restraining order
- Multiple offenses of stalking against the same person
- Stalking while serving a prison sentence
- Stalking while on parole or probation
Fourth-degree felony offenses generally carry a potential jail sentence of up to 18 months, and potential fines up to $10,000. A third-degree felony offense is a more serious charge, for which a conviction could result in fines up to $15,000 and a maximum prison sentence of five years. Anyone charged with stalking under these circumstances may want to speak with a stalking lawyer in Monmouth County immediately.Other Stalking-Related Penalties
In addition to criminal penalties, a stalking charge could be grounds for a permanent protective order.
Protective orders, commonly called restraining orders, legally prevent communication between involved parties. This could include communication through a third party, as well as contact with co-workers, friends, or individuals close to the other party.
It could also prevent individuals from entering the home, school, work, or other places frequented by the other party. If the parties lived together or near each other, or if they share a child, those under a protective order may be forced to move or could lose custody rights. These orders may additionally prohibit purchasing or possessing firearms for life.
Finally, a stalking conviction can be disruptive to an individual’s personal life. It can damage relationships between friends and family and may make it difficult to secure work or find a place to live.Speak with a Monmouth County Stalking Attorney
The stakes are high for anyone facing a stalking charge. A conviction for stalking and the associated potential for a permanent restraining order could lead to life-long repercussions. However, it could be possible for a Monmouth County stalking lawyer to help minimize the impact of these accusations on your life. Call today with any questions you may have regarding a stalking charge. A skilled attorney may be able to provide understanding and help you decide on what next steps you should take.