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Somerset County Harassment Lawyer

If you were charged with harassment, a Somerset County harassment lawyer may be an important part of your approach in handling those charges. By working with a well-versed domestic violence attorney, you could give yourself a better chance of understanding your rights and being able to effectively assert them throughout the legal process you may be facing.

Understanding Harassment Charges

Harassment is a broad term, which means that it can sometimes be difficult to understand exactly what it entails as a criminal charge. Under New Jersey Revised Statutes §2C:33-4, harassment can include:

  • Attempting to communicate with another at extremely inconvenient hours in a manner so as to cause alarm
  • Communication with offensively coarse language
  • Subjecting another person to physical violence or offensive touching
  • Threatening another person with physical violence or offensive touching
  • Repeatedly engaging in other forms of alarming conduct with the purpose to alarm or harass another

This statute treats these offenses as petty disorderly persons offenses. However, an individual who commits any of these actions while on parole or probation for another crime in New Jersey may face charges for a crime in the fourth degree.

Potential Consequences for Harassing Someone

For most forms of harassment that qualify as petty disorderly persons offenses, punishments following convictions can include up to six months in jail as well as a fine of up to $1,000. Individuals facing elevated harassment charges in the fourth degree can face up to 18 months in prison in addition to a maximum $10,000 fine.

While these potential consequences are certainly severe, there are generally no mandatory sentences for either of these classifications. That means that there may be alternative sentencing options available, which an experienced harassment lawyer in Somerset County could help clients to explore.

Defending Against Harassment Charges

Every situation resulting in criminal charges is unique and has its own set of related circumstances. Given how much could be on the line when it comes to a conviction, taking a thorough approach to establishing your defense is often critically important.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to criminal law matters, intent plays an important role in many criminal offenses and harassment is no exception to that. Many crimes, including harassment, require the state to prove that an individual had the intent to commit that crime.

It should come as no surprise that crimes like harassment can be very subjective when it comes to interpreting intent. In practice, that means that rude and/or offensive comments alone may not qualify as harassment. 

There are many other factors that can be used to determine intent, or even to build a defense centered around a lack of intent. Somerset County harassment lawyers understand important nuances in the law—and often how to apply them in specific circumstances as well.

Contacting a Somerset County Harassment Attorney

No matter the circumstances surrounding your harassment charges, the consequences of conviction could be significant. A compassionate criminal defense attorney could help you navigate the complex legal process that may be involved in facing your charges.

There is typically a great deal at stake when it comes to facing harassment charges, and that can make them intimidating. However, you do not need to face those charges alone. A Somerset County harassment lawyer could work with you to explore your options and help you pursue a positive resolution to your case. Call today to get started.