Harassment Charges 2C:33-4
Middletown NJ Harassment Lawyer
Harassment is one of the most common charges litigated in local Municipal Courts throughout Monmouth County. Harassment is considered a petty disorderly persons offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor. Typically most harassment charges stem from some form of a domestic dispute between family members, loved ones or friends. As such, most clients charged with harassment are also forced to defend themselves against simple assault, terroristic threats, stalking, criminal coercion charges as well. Also, clients tend to find themselves being served with a temporary restraining order too. If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Monmouth County, the Law Offices Proetta & Oliver can help. Our Monmouth County criminal defense lawyers have dedicated their entire careers to defending those accused of breaking the law in courts throughout New Jersey, including courts throughout Monmouth County. Our criminal defense attorneys routinely appear in courts throughout the county including courts like Hazlet, Tinton Falls, Asbury Park, Rumson, Fair Haven, Belmar, Howell, Eatontown and Red Bank and defend clients charged with harassment.
Need Local Manalapan Harassment Defense Attorney
If you would like to schedule an appointment to come into our office and speak one on one with Mr. Oliver about your options, then please contact us directly at (732)858-6959. We are available 24/7 to help in anyway that we can. Our office is located at 18 Kings Highway, directly across the street from the Middletown Municipal Court. We fully understand that this can be an extremely stressful time for someone. So if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us. Now here is some key information on harassment charges, including what exactly the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
What to Know about Harassment Charges in NJ
When it comes to defending a harassment charge in New Jersey it is always key to look at what the individual’s underlying intent was. In order to secure a conviction for harassment in New Jersey, the prosecution must be able to prove that the Defendant committed the act in question with the purpose was to harass the victim. An individual’s mental state, more commonly referred to by its acronym, mens rea, is one of the main ways to attack the validity of a harassment case.
What are the Elements the State must Prove for a Harassment Charge?
The offense of harassment is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4, which states in pertinent part:
A person commits an . . . offense if, with purpose to harass another, he:
- 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;
- Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or
- Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person.
What is the Sentence for a Harassment Charge in NJ?
Harassment is a petty disorderly persons offense. A petty disorderly persons offense is the lowest level criminal charge in New Jersey. With that being said it is still a criminal offense and if convicted a Defendant faces significant penalties. If convicted of harassment in New Jersey a Defendant is facing up to thirty (30) days in the Monmouth County Jail, a fine up to $500 and a criminal record as well. Depending on whom the victim is, a Defendant may be eligible for one of New Jersey’s diversionary programs, the conditional dismissal program. If eligible and if defense counsel is able to get the Defendant into the program, the Defendant could walk away from these charges without a criminal record let alone without serving a day in jail. For more information on this program please checkout the practice series by clicking the link.
Can an Allegation of Harassment be Used to Secure a Temporary Restraining Order in NJ?
If the alleged victim of the harassment qualifies as a “victim” pursuant to New Jersey’s Domestic Violence Prevent Act, then they will be allowed to seek a temporary restraining order in New Jersey. Harassment is by far one of the most common basis for issuing a temporary restraining order in Monmouth County. If a defendant is also served with a temporary restraining order (TRO) then they will need to appear in the Chancery Division, Family Part of the Monmouth County Superior Court and litigate the charges. The TRO case will be separate and apart from the underlying criminal harassment charges despite the fact that the underlying facts are the same. For more information on the consequences of a final restraining order in New Jersey, please click the link.
What is the Bail for a Harassment Charge in NJ?
New Jersey no longer uses a traditional cash bail system. In turn, we use a risk assessment. Our system basically mirrors that of the Federal Criminal Justice System. More often than not this is considered a good thing. However, when it comes to harassment cases, especially if they are classified as “domestic violence” this could turn out to be detrimental for a defendant. Under the old bail system it would be highly unlikely for an individual charged with harassment to have to post bail. However, under the new system, in an effort to better combat domestic violence cases, an individual charged with harassment may very well see their charges be issued on a Complaint-Warrant. If that is to occur, they would be required to spent at least 24-48 hours in the County Jail, so that Pretrial Services can conduct their risk assessment. If the facts are egregious enough, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office may even file for detention at the individual’s Central Judicial Processing Hearing (CJP). If that is to occur that means that they are seeking to detain the individual in the county jail, pending trial. However, if that does occur, it will ultimately be up to the Judge to determine whether or not the individual can be released on conditions (bail) pending trial. For more information on detention hearings in Monmouth County, please click the link.
Local West Long Branch Attorney for Harassment Charge
If you have been charged with harassment, possession of marijuana under 50 grams, stalking, terroristic threats, cyber-harassment or been served with a restraining order, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys have been representing clients charged with criminal offenses in Courts throughout Monmouth County for almost a decade now. Our attorneys have the experience and skill set required to make sure these charges do not affect the rest of your life. Our attorneys have a reputation of aggressively and zealously advocate on behalf of our clients. To schedule a free initial consultation today please contact us directly at (732)858-6959 or leave us an email. We serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Hazlet, Howell, Aberdeen, Matawan, Red Bank, Belmar, Manasquan, Freehold, Ocean Township, Wall Township, Long Branch and Little Silver.