New Jersey Harassment Lawyer
Harassment is considered a petty disorderly persons offense. A harassment conviction will appear on your criminal record and appear on background checks. Even though it is considered a low-level offense, there is still the potential for heavy fines and jail time. A harassment charge can cause undue embarrassment and affect future professional opportunities. That’s why those facing harassment charges need to contact a New Jersey harassment attorney as soon as possible. Do not risk your future. Call our law office today for effective criminal defense representation in New Jersey.
Legal Definition of Criminal Harassment in New Jersey
Harassment is generally the result of a personal argument, disagreement, or misunderstanding. It is common for one accused of harassment to have had a personal falling out with the victim. The prosecution must be able to prove that the accused had the intention of annoying the victim or causing them stress in order for one to be convicted of harassment. Criminal harassment is different from civil forms of harassment, such as harassment that occurs in a workplace. Certain behaviors, such as attempting to contact another person because they owe you money or are in possession of your belongings, would not be considered harassment. Harassment charges can be complex, because people will often accuse someone of harassment due to an emotional response, such as feeling offended, demeaned, or disrespected. However, harassment charges are completely unwarranted when they’re directed towards someone that simply disagrees with you.
Our New Jersey harassment attorney will listen to your side of the story and determine if there are grounds to have your case dismissed. Only an attorney that has years of experience in harassment charges can easily pinpoint issues in a harassment complaint. We will examine the evidence against you, determine the validity of your accuser’s complaint, and discuss your options with you, while also diligently fighting the charges, and protecting your name and reputation. If you are accused of harassment, call a New Jersey harassment lawyer today.
Penalties For Harassment
Harassment is considered a petty disorderly offense, which in the eyes of the court, is seen as the least serious offense possible. The punishment for harassment is a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Often the worst part of being charged with harassment is the embarrassment and future repercussions of having a harassment charge on your permanent record. If you have a harassment charge on a public record, it can negatively affect many different areas of your life.
Benefits of Expunging a Harassment Conviction
Having a harassment conviction on a public record can present a lot of problems with future employment, loan applications, or child custody. Our law office can help you expunge your record if you have been convicted of less than 3 disorderly or petty disorderly offenses and have not been convicted of any indictable offenses. The New Jersey court requires that five years pass following your sentencing in order to have your record expunged.
An expungement erases all records of the harassment offense and will not show up on background checks. You will also not be required to disclose your harassment arrest once it has been expunged. If more than five years have passed since you were convicted of harassment, let our office help you move on with your life. Call a New Jersey harassment lawyer today to receive immediate attention and discuss the possibility of expunging your harassment charge.
Contact the Best New Jersey Harassment Attorney Today
John Fabriele understands what a person goes through after being accused of or charged with harassment. It can be confusing, disturbing, and stressful to face a harassment charge, especially when you believe there was no intent to harass the other party. This is why it’s crucial to only deal with a New Jersey attorney that specializes in harassment charges. Contact the law office of John Fabriele today to discuss your case and assure that your rights are protected. Call our law office at (732) 246-0888 to schedule a consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding New Jersey Harassment Law
We understand that harassment charges can be confusing and complicated. Many clients are completely unaware that their behavior could have possibly resulted in a harassment charge. Because of the highly emotional nature of this crime, it can make harassment cases tricky for both the accuser and the accused. To help you understand more about New Jersey harassment law and what happens if you’re accused of harassment, here are some questions that are frequently asked by our clients. The answers to these frequently asked questions should provide some clarity on New Jersey harassment law, but if you still have questions or concerns about a harassment charge, contact our law office today to speak with an attorney.
What constitutes harassment in New Jersey?
It can be difficult to understand harassment charges or what constitutes harassment in New Jersey. The definition is broad and includes a wide variety of behaviors and actions. Many people are unaware that their behavior can even lead to harassment charges. To better understand how New Jersey defines harassment law under 2C:33-4, you can read it in its entirety below.
Someone can be found guilty of harassment if the charges meet these specific conditions:
- If they have the purpose to harass another, and they make a communication anonymously, at extremely inconvenient hours (like, late at night) or use offensively coarse language or communicate in any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm.
- Behaviors such as striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or they threaten to do so, can also be considered criminal harassment.
- If a person engages in any conduct which is alarming, or repeats conduct in a way which has the intent to seriously annoy or alarm an individual, they may also be found guilty of harassment.
All of this conduct by itself would constitute a petty disorderly persons offense. While this is considered a low-level crime, it’s still important to have legal representation in a harassment case. It’s never advised to take harassment charges lightly, as they can be detrimental to your personal and professional future. If you’ve been accused of harassment, it’s important to act quickly. For more information on what constitutes harassment in New Jersey and how a harassment attorney can help, contact our law office today to speak with a lawyer.
Except as provided in subsection e., a person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, with purpose to harass another, he:
- a.Makes, or causes 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;
- b.Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or
- c.Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person.
A communication under subsection a. may be deemed to have been made either at the place where it originated or at the place where it was received.
- d.(Deleted by amendment, P.L.2001, c.443).
- e.A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, in committing an offense under this section, he 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.
For a better understanding of this code and legal definition of harassment in New Jersey, or to speak with a harassment attorney about your charges, contact the law office of John Fabriele today.
How do you prove harassment in New Jersey?
This is one of the most important questions that we often receive from clients. Proving harassment can be tricky, since the act of feeling fearful or annoyed by someone may be subjective. For instance, behaviors that one individual deems as harassment could be viewed differently by another party, your attorney, or by a judge in a New Jersey court. When attempting to prove harassment, the accuser has to provide evidence that there was intent to harass or “they had the purpose to harass another”.
Proving intent to harass can be very difficult, even with physical evidence of documented repeated phone calls or text messages. However, even though harassment can be hard to prove, unwarranted harassment cases appear every day. Unjust accusations of harassment with insufficient evidence can still lead to undeserved convictions and charges. In other words, it’s never recommended to brush off a harassment charge or assume that the accuser can’t prove anything in court. Only an experienced harassment attorney can assess your harassment charge and identify grounds for dropping your charges. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better your chances. Contact our law office today to learn more about harassment defense strategies and how accusers will often attempt to prove harassment in court.
What is the New Jersey law against discrimination?
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits unlawful employment discrimination based on an individual's race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex (including pregnancy), familial status, marital/civil union status, religion, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for military service, and mental or physical disability (including perceived disability, and AIDS and HIV status).
People will often assume that civil harassment, such as harassment in the workplace and discrimination charges, are considered criminal since these acts are indeed illegal on both federal and state levels. However, violations of discrimination laws in New Jersey will mostly result in civil lawsuits, not criminal charges. If you’re being charged with harassment and you’re unsure if this is a civil or criminal lawsuit, contact our law office today to speak with a New Jersey harassment attorney to learn more.
What are some examples of harassment?
Looking at examples of harassment can help you better understand what types of behaviors can lead to harassment charges and accusations. Let’s look at examples of harassment through the lens of each piece of the legal definition of harassment:
- A. If they have the purpose to harass another, and they make a communication anonymously, at extremely inconvenient hours (like, late at night) or use offensively coarse language or communicate in any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm.
Example of harassment: Calling someone anonymously ten or more times throughout the hours of 1 am-3 am and leaving crude and offensive messages, which result in the other person feeling fearful or threatened.
- B. Behaviors such as striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or they threaten to do so, can also be considered criminal harassment.
Example of harassment: A domestic violence case that includes a harassment charge involves one spouse constantly threatening to strike or kick the other spouse.
- C. If a person engages in any conduct which is alarming, or repeats conduct in a way which has the intent to seriously annoy or alarm an individual, they may also be found guilty of harassment.
Example of harassment: A neighbor threatens to burn another neighbor’s house down while they’re at work. Even though it was only one threat, it’s considered “alarming” and can constitute harassment.
These are all very basic examples of harassment or common accusations of harassment often heard by a lawyer. Remember that while these are considered examples that can lead to charges, each one of these examples would still need sufficient evidence that there was intent to harass. For more specific examples of harassment or results achieved from other harassment cases, contact our law firm to speak with a New Jersey harassment attorney.
Is it considered harassment if you violate a restraining order in New Jersey?
Violating a restraining order, whether it be a temporary or final restraining order, is considered a criminal offense in New Jersey. Violating a restraining order isn’t automatically linked to a harassment charge. However, if a person is in violation of a restraining order and exhibits alarming or threatening behavior towards the individual under the protective order, it may result in further charges, such as stalking or harassment.
If you’ve been served with a restraining order and you need to know more about what constitutes violations of protective orders, it’s crucial to consult with a restraining order lawyer with experience in harassment so you can avoid further criminal charges.
How do you choose a harassment lawyer?
Being charged with harassment may only be considered a petty disorderly persons offense, but New Jersey takes these charges seriously. It’s also vital to remember that if you’re on probation or parole for any indictable offense, a new charge of harassment automatically becomes a fourth-degree offense, even if it is not related to the prior charge. You can also be charged with a fourth-degree offense if you’re serving a prison sentence at the time of the alleged harassment. Because of these potential consequences, you need to have a good harassment lawyer on your side.
Keep a few things in mind when looking for a New Jersey harassment attorney. First, you want to make sure they’re not only knowledgeable in harassment law, but they should also have experience producing positive results in harassment cases. Having a strong background in harassment law and having experience defending someone on harassment charges are two different things, and your lawyer should have both. Second, you want to make sure your attorney is also well-versed in other charges that are often linked to harassment, such as domestic violence, hazing, stalking, or assault. Since harassment law includes a broad range of actions and behaviors, it’s possible for someone to be accused of more than one crime that’s closely associated with harassment. Lastly, you want to make sure your harassment attorney is accessible and available to you. Harassment charges will often lead to a lot of questions and concerns about penalties, defense strategies, or court appearances. You want to be able to work with someone who is dedicated to your case and available to answer your questions. New Jersey harassment attorney John Fabriele exceeds all of these characteristics of a great defense lawyer and can help guide you through your harassment case.
Contact John Fabriele New Jersey Harassment Attorney
If you’ve been charged with harassment, it’s crucial to only deal with a New Jersey attorney that specializes in harassment charges. Contact the law office of John Fabriele today to discuss your case and assure that your rights are protected.
Call our law office at (732) 246-0888 to schedule a consultation.
New Jersey Harassment Lawyer Office
New Jersey Harassment Lawyer
East Brunswick , NJ
Phone: (732) 246-0888