Monmouth County Stalking Defense Lawyers
Sometimes emotions in a relationship can takeover and can make an individual react in a way that may be totally out of character for them. Typically that is the case when a Defendant is charged with stalking in Monmouth County. Believe it or not, this is a rather common offense charged in the county and usually goes hand and hand with harassment, terroristic threats, simple assault charges and even could lead to a temporary restraining order being filed. Stalking is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:10b and as you will see below, this offense is either considered a third or fourth degree felony depending on the underlying facts. Therefore, if you are convicted of stalking in New Jersey not only could you be incarcerated for five (5) years and fined up too $15,000 but you would also be scarred with a felony criminal record. These are charges that should not be taken lightly. Since this offense often falls under an “act of domestic violence“, a Defendant charged with stalking may find themselves being detained in the Monmouth County Jail for at least 48 hours pending a pretrial services interview. Pursuant to the bail reforms, if the prosecution is seeking to detain a Defendant in the Monmouth County Jail, pending trial, without bail a Detention Hearing must take place. These hearings can and always should be contested. To speak to one of our attorneys immediately about your options, please contact us directly at 732.858.6959.
Need Attorney for Stalking Charge in West Long Branch NJ
As you can tell these charges carry rather significant penalties. If you have been arrested and charged with stalking in Monmouth County in towns like Hazlet, Holmdel, Tinton Falls, Middletown, Eatontown, Howell, Fair Haven, Little Silver, Manalapan, Aberdeen or Ocean Township, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our Monmouth County criminal lawyers represent clients charged with stalking in courts throughout Monmouth County. Our attorneys have dedicated their entire practice to defending those accused of breaking the law in courts throughout New Jersey. We are well aware of what a stalking conviction can do to someone’s future. As such, we are dedicated to making sure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to defending our clients. We will aggressively challenge the evidence presented against our clients in order to obtain a favorable outcome. If you would like to come into the office and have a one on one consultation with one of our attorneys on staff, then please contact us directly at (732)858.6959. Our office is located at 18 Kings Highway in Middletown, directly across the street from the Middletown Municipal Court. As always, our initial consultations are free.
What to Know about Stalking Charges in Middletown NJ
In layman terms, to be charged with stalking in New Jersey it must be alleged that the individual engaged in a course of conduct towards a specific person, that would cause them to fear for their safety or cause them emotional distress.
What does the Prosecution have to prove in a Stalking Case in NJ?
Stalking is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10b, which states in pertinent part “a person is guilty of stalking if he/she purposely 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”. The key in this statute is “reasonable person”. This phrase in the statute allows for an experienced Monmouth County criminal defense attorney a wide latitude to attack the charges.
As touched upon above, stalking can be either a fourth or third degree felony in New Jersey and the underlying facts will dictate what degree a Defendant is charged with. In essence, to be convicted of a fourth degree stalking offense (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10b) the State must prove two material elements and they are as follows:
- The Defendant purposely or knowingly engaged in a course of conduct directed a specific person;
- That the Defendant’s course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to:
- Fear for his/her safety;
- Fear for the safety of a third person;
- Suffer emotional distress.
To be convicted of stalking in the third degree the State must prove the aforementioned two elements and one of the following elements:
- A pre-existing court order was in place that prohibited stalking (Temporary / Final Restraining Order); or
- It is the Defendant’s second or subsequent stalking offense against the same victim; or
- The Defendant committed the stalking while they were serving a term of imprisonment or while out on parole or probation for a felony offense.
What are the Penalties for Stalking in NJ?
Stalking can either be a third or fourth degree indictable (felony) offense depending on the subsection of the statute that a Defendant is charged with. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five (5) years in a New Jersey State Prison and a fine up to $15,000. Conversely, a fourth degree felony offense is punishable by up to eighteen (18) months in a New Jersey State Prison and a fine up to $10,000. Both offenses will scar a Defendant with a felony criminal offense.
Can I avoid Jail time on a Stalking Charge NJ?
With that being said, a Defendant may be eligible for a program known as the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI). This is a diversionary program in New Jersey whereby if the Defendant completes the probationary period without issue the then pending felony charges will be outright dismissed. Therefore, a Defendant will be able to walk away from these otherwise life changing charges with not only never having to serve a single day in jail but without a criminal record as well. For more information on this program please click here.
Can I be Served with a TRO for Alleged Stalking Charges in NJ?
Pursuant to New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, the crime of stalking is considered a “act of domestic violence”. Therefore, if the alleged victim qualifies as a “victim” under the act, then they would be entitled to seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO). The TRO would be in addition to any underlying criminal charges despite the fact that the exact same allegations were used to obtain both. For more information on what takes places at a final restraining order hearing in New Jersey, including what court would have jurisdiction over the case, please click the link.
Would I have to Forfeit My Weapons if Convicted of Stalking in Nj?
In short, possibly. If the offense (stalking) is considered an act of domestic violence then anyone convicted of it would be required to forever forfeit their second amendment rights. In addition, any weapons that were previously owned would need to be seized and forfeited as well. If the weapons were forfeited the individual would have the ability to sell the weapons through an authorized firearms dealer in order to retain the economic value of the weapons.
Looking to Consult with a Lawyer in Tinton Falls on a Stalking Charge
The Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver is an experienced Monmouth County criminal defense firm. Our attorneys pride themselves on zealously advocating on behalf of their client’s. If you have been issued a summons for stalking, harassment, criminal mischief, false imprisonment or served with a temporary restraining order in Monmouth County, we can help. We serve the entire county, including towns like Belmar, Freehold, Marlboro, Asbury Park, West Long Branch, Red Bank, Ocean, Wall, Neptune and Matawan. To schedule a free initial consultation today, then please contact us directly at (732) 858.6959. We are available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible. We fully understand that time is off the essence with these types of charges. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.