Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Stalking

How is stalking defined under New Jersey law N.J. Stat. § 2C:12-10?

“A person is guilty of stalking, a crime of the fourth degree if he purposefully or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress.”

Stalking Examples

  • Repeatedly sending explicit or implied threats, (these threats made be made through a 3rd party.
  • Vandalizing someone’s property.
  • Following someone closely while that person is out exercising or shopiing.
  • Repeatedly sending communications via texts, emails, letters, or any other means.

Prison Time for Stalking

Stalking is generally a fourth-degree felony as discussed above.

However, you could face 3rd-degree charges if you:

  • continue to stalk someone in violation of an “existing court order” prohibiting the behavior.
  • commit a second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim (third-degree.)
  • stalk someone while serving a term of imprisonment or while on parole or probation as the result of a conviction for any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.

Your victim can get a protective order

Under New Jersey statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10.1, the victim in your stalking case can apply for a final restraining if you’re convicted.

If you are convicted of stalking, the court can issue an order that:

  • Prohibits you from entering the residence, property, school, or place of employment of the victim
  • Requires you to stay away from any specified place named in the order as frequented regularly by the victim
  • Restrains you from making contact with the victim, including an order forbidding you from personally or through an agent initiating any communication likely to cause annoyance or alarm, including personal, written, or telephone contact, or contact via an electronic device with the victim, the victim’s employers, employees, or fellow workers, or others with whom communication would be likely to cause annoyance or alarm to the victim.

Consequences for violating the protective order

If you violate a protective order, you face 18 months in prison & a $10,000.00 fine.

Challenging stalking charges

If you have been charged with stalking, we do have legal strategies available.

For example, the government would need to show that you received notice that your communications were not welcomed. 

What type of notice did you receive and was it adequate?

Also, if you traveled in the same circles as the alleged victim, isn’t it reasonable to expect that you would bump into each from time to time?

Most importantly, did your communications really cause the alleged victim to be consumed with fear of you?

Oftentimes, our legal strategy in these cases consists of getting the charges downgraded to a harassment misdemeanor charge.

In this way, you will be out of “felony danger”.

Final thoughts

Stalking charges can be won.

Most of the time these charges arise from relationships gone bad.

The important thing is to seek the representation of an aggressive attorney.

Every piece of evidence must be reviewed and analyzed to find weaknesses in the government’s case.

Your future is too important to just “plead guilty”. 

Criminal convictions ruin lives and your freedom is priceless.

Meet with us today to see how we can help you.

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A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;
b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;
c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;
d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;
e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;
f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense; or
g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

***It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion is a “search” standard that applies in criminal law.

When a police officer conducts a warrantless search, and does not have probable cause to justify the search, the courts look to see if the police had
a “reasonable & articulable suspicion” for the search.

A mere “hunch” is not enough.

In other words, a police officer has to provide an acceptable explanation for the search.

United States Constitution

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

NJSA - 2C:43-7.2.
Eligibility for parole;
persons convicted of certain violent crimes

a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.


b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.


c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions

Felony Degree

Prison & Fines

Examples

First-Degree

1st-degree felony charges in NJ are reserved for the most serious criminal offenses. Prison terms start at a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Second-Degree

2nd-degree felony charges carry 5-10 yrs in prison.
These charges can often be “downgraded” to 3rd or 4th-degree crimes.

Third-Degree

3rd-degree felony charges carry 3-5 years.
You have a good shot at PTI if you are charged with a 3rd-degree.

Fourth-Degree

4th-degree felony charges carry up to 18 months in jail. These cases can get “remanded” to a lower court. In this way, you will be out of “felony” danger.