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Somerset County Stalking Lawyer

Although sometimes sensationalized in movies and the press, the reality is that stalking occurs far more often than many people may think. In fact, it is even possible to face stalking charges as a result of domestic violence or other related issues.

No matter the circumstances surrounding a stalking charge, facing one can be an intimidating experience for anyone. A Somerset County stalking lawyer could be an important part of your strategy in facing those charges. Understanding some of the basics about stalking charges may help you work more effectively with a distinguished harassment attorney in facing such accusations.

Common Stalking Offenses in Somerset County

The kind of extreme incidents of stalking people often hear about in the news are not the only actions that could cause someone to fear for their safety. At the same time, however, stalking generally needs to consist of behavior beyond simply following someone down the street and making unwanted comments—although that could certainly result in other charges depending on the situation.

In order for a person to face stalking charges, they must have undertaken actions related to stalking on at least two separate occasions. These actions can include repeated phone calls and/or text messages, making threats, sending unwanted gifts, and generally acting in a manner that could cause someone to reasonably fear for their own safety or the safety of another person.

Potential Consequences of Conviction for Stalking

As with many criminal charges, the exact consequences for a stalking conviction are heavily dependent on the circumstances surrounding the charges. Stalking is typically prosecuted as a third- or fourth-degree crime.

When an individual knowingly engages in activities that might cause a person to fear for their own safety, or that of another individual such as a family member, stalking may be charged as a fourth-degree crime. A conviction at this level means the defendant could be facing up to 18 months in jail, as well as significant financial penalties of up to $10,000.

Aggravating Stalking Penalties

When stalking involves violating a court order or is the second or subsequent incident in the defendant’s history, it is typically charged as a third-degree crime. A conviction at this level could result in up to five years in prison in addition to serious fines of up to $15,000.

Aggravating or mitigating circumstances could have a significant impact on the way your charges are handled. For instance, stalking that results in bodily injury to another is likely to result in additional simultaneous charges. 

Experienced stalking attorneys in Somerset County understand important nuances in the state’s criminal laws and may know how to apply those to your circumstances.

Speak to a Somerset Stalking Attorney

If you are facing stalking charges, it may be important that you understand your rights under the law as well as how to assert them. While no outcome is ever guaranteed, working with a seasoned criminal defense attorney may help you face your charges more confidently and productively.

Stalking charges can be intimidating, but you do not have to face those charges alone. If you are charged with stalking, get in touch with a Somerset County stalking lawyer to schedule a consultation and start working on your case.