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Dismissing Harassment Charges: Avoid A Humiliating Conviction

Dismissin Harassment Charges

Dismissing harassment charges is possible. These are extremely common charges in New Jersey. If you have are facing Simple Assault, Terroristic Threat, Stalking, or Criminal Mischief charges, chances are good that you also have a Harassment charge.

Where do Harassment Charges come from?

Harassment charges seem to always arise from a “relationship gone bad”.
It’s common to see people in toxic relationships bring their personal vendettas to court.
While many crimes like assault, resisting arrest, obstruction, and eluding involve interfering with law enforcement, harassment charges stem from toxic relationships.
It’s either your neighbor from hell or an ex-boyfriend who can’t move on.

As criminal defense lawyers, every client asks us about dismissing harassment charges.

Our mission is always the same: if it’s possible, let’s get this nonsense dismissed.

Step 1 - Start with the complaint

Dismissing harassment charges starts with reviewing your complaint.
Here’s a Sample Harassment Complaint from New Jersey.
(Important sections are highlighted)

Criminal complaints in New Jersey provide a lot of information.
For example, they identify the date that you allegedly committed harassment, the jurisdiction (location), names of witnesses, and of course the name of the alleged victim. (We redacted names in our sample)

In most criminal complaints, you will also find some information regarding the acts you committed for which you are being charged.

Step 2 - identify which section applies to you

In New Jersey, there are three subsections to the 2C:33-4 Harassment charge.

  • 1. Annoying Communications
  • 2. Offensive Touching
  • 3. Intent to Cause Alarm

In our sample complaint, we’ve highlighted the section of the law in Green.
In this case, our client was charged with 2C:33-4 Subsection C. “Cause to Alarm” the victim.

Step 3 - be clear about your role.
Did you intend to "harass"?

After identifying the section of the law that applies to you, the third step in dismissing harassment charges involves asking yourself questions.

Be clear on what you may have done to give rise to your harassment charge.

Some examples are:

1. Sending text messages at inconvenient hours i.e., 2 a.m.
2. Pointing your finger in someone’s face in a menacing way
3. Making anonymous & threatening calls
4. Repeatedly ringing someone’s doorbell and running away

Once you sit down with your criminal defense lawyer, tell him the truth.

Everything you discuss with your lawyer is privileged & confidential.
You should feel safe in knowing that your side of the story will not be shared with anyone.
For example, if you’ve been charged with harassment for violating a Restraining Order, your lawyer should know this.
Now let’s turn to four strategies for dismissing your harassment charges.

Don't Feel Like Reading?

We created a helpful video that simply & clearly explains different strategies & approaches for dismissing harassment charges.

4 Legal Ways For Dismissing Harassment Charges

1 - Insufficient or New Evidence

Remember, your arrest is the starting point of your criminal case.
Harassment cases can take weeks and sometimes months.
A lot happens while your case is pending. The prosecution can dismiss your criminal charges after your criminal lawyer provides new evidence.
That’s right!
As your lawyers, we conduct our own investigation of your case.
For example, once we obtain evidence that shows it was impossible for you to text the victim at 3 a.m., we hand that over to the prosecutor.
We find the evidence which proves your innocence & we show it to the prosecutor.
As a result, they decide that the evidence against you is weak.
It’s important to emphasize the role of your criminal lawyer here.

2 - Request a Prosecutor Conference

A conference with the prosecutor is slightly different than plea bargaining.
Contrary to Hollywood movies, criminal lawyers & prosecutors have good, healthy, professional relationships.
We both chose the area of criminal law and we care about justice.
It is during these Pretrial Conferences that we get to openly discuss your case.
Think of it as you would a movie trailer.
It’s the preview of what’s to come. We know that it’s going to be an action movie but we want to see some clips before we watch it.
A member of our defense team will schedule some time with the prosecutor to review evidence, share perspectives, and discuss the pertinent law.
Quite often we’re able to persuade the prosecutor that he doesn’t have a case.
As a result, it gets dismissed!

3 - Dismissming Harassment Charges Through Mediation

It may not be the most appealing choice, but mediation is a great strategy for dismissing harassment charges.
Mediation is a court-ordered program that involves bringing both parties to the table.
Let’s say that your neighbor filed harassment charges over an ongoing fence dispute.
One thing leads to another and the next thing you know he marches down to the police station and files a harassment complaint.
Of course, you didn’t do anything criminal so your matter doesn’t belong in criminal court.
Your defense attorney and the prosecutor will join together and ask the court to send the matter to mediation.
During mediation, another lawyer (mediator) will guide the conversation towards a peaceful resolution.
At the end of the whole process, the mediator may push towards dismissing harassment charges.
Hey, it’s worth a shot, right?

4 - Pay A Fine

If the evidence against you is weak, but the prosecutor won’t dismiss your case, then your lawyer can fight for a reduced charge.
It may not be the result you wanted, but it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Your case is resolved and your nightmare is over.
A harassment charge can be downgraded to a local ordinance charge.
If this happens, jail is off the table.
You pay a fine & you’ll be relieved that the case is over.
Of course, our mission is dismissing your harassment charges, but a reduced charge can also be a home run!

Final Thoughts

A Harassment charge in NJ is a Petty Disorderly Persons offense. Maximum penalties include up to 30 days in jail & up to $500-fine.

If your facing harassment charges, keep calm, it’s a very common charge.

 As discussed, there are many ways to approach dismissing harassment charges. 
But, it is important to find a lawyer who is right for you.
Since it’s such an important decision, take the time to do some basic research.
Once you’ve found a few lawyers you’d like to meet, check to see if they have any client reviews.
At our firm, before a client hires us, we always encourage them to visit our Client Reviews.

Please visit the Areas We Serve & Practice Areas pages for more information.

Contact Us For A FREE Consultation.

How We Can Help

Regardless of the criminal charges you are facing, we are here to defend & protect you. Whether you are facing a restraining order, drug charge, theft charge, or aggravated assault charge, we are here to help you. Even a DWI case can really complicate your life.

If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. The point is, our criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the best result possible. Take advantage of our free consultation to see how we can help.

Our Experience

You or a loved one have been arrested. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about plea bargains & probation, but the process is overwhelming. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.

Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & handles all types of criminal matters in New Jersey The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.

Our Practice Areas

Below you will find some but not all of our practice areas. Of course, if you do not see your criminal charges listed, feel free to contact us for a free consultation. We will meet with you to discuss your case & to answer all of your legal concerns. Se habla español tambien!

Areas We Serve

Get Help With Your Case

How Do Your Free Consultations Work?

There are plenty of excellent criminal lawyers in the Hackensack area. Most, if not all of them, offer free, 20-minute, consultations. However, our free consultations do not have a time limit. You will never feel rushed.

The best way for us to help you is to patiently listen to your side of the story. Your version of events will serve as the basis for your legal defense. It is during these initial meetings that your memory of the event is fresh in your mind. Why we would rush you during such an important aspect of your case.

We understand that your choice of attorney could mean the difference between your freedom and spending years behind bars. 

When you hire an attorney, you are entering a long-term relationship. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with the team of Hackensack criminal lawyers that will represent you.

What our clients say about us

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This guy deserves 10 stars he works and is assertive. He is a heavy weight champ in the court room BEST LAWYER EVER he worked on my girlfriend’s case and got a her a victory. He is very meticulous and orderly in his defense. This guy is outstanding. 🥊 BEST LAWYER EVER !
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I hired Al, for a Domestic Violence Situation. In the court system. He was beyond helpful. Very open and receptive. Communication was absolute key with him. He kept me in the know every email every text message. Communication was on point!He was and is very passionate. Leads with integrity boldness and truth. I have never seen so much tenacity in person. He was beyond helpful - explaining situations in the court system that I should expect.I highly recommend him. I will recommend him to any of my clients as well. He is absolutely excellent and straightforward. Definitely pushes the envelope and applies the pressure as a true lawyer should.Once again, I will absolutely recommend him for any cases in the future. An absolutely recommend him to friends and family. I hope to work with him again under better circumstances.Thank you so much - for your patience, guidance and help. You have been absolutely wonderful to work with.
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Navigating the criminal justice system can be a daunting and intimidating experience. However, Peyrouton Law demonstrates an exceptional ability to guide clients through this complex world with the utmost professionalism. The firm embodies a comprehensive combination of knowledge, experience, tenacity, and effective representation. When my 22-year-old son, who resides in Chicago but works in New Jersey, inadvertently neglected to place his legally registered firearm in his checked luggage, he found himself facing arrest. As a mother residing in Chicago, I was overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty, being unfamiliar with New Jersey's criminal justice system. Upon reaching out to Peyrouton Law, they diligently represented my son throughout his legal challenge, alleviating my anxiety and providing much-needed reassurance. I wholeheartedly endorse and recommend this exceptional law firm.
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El mejor abogado que pude aver encontrado cada audiencia me sentí confiada porque sabía que todo iba salir bien no ablo inglés y también mejor abogado en abla español súper bueno de confianza y pudo quitarme los cargos de los cuales estaba acusada lo recomiendo
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