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Defense Against Harassment Charges

Avoid Fines and Jail Time with a New Jersey Harassment Lawyer

Most people are aware that harassment can get them into trouble at work. But, what most people don’t realize is that harassment can also be prosecuted as a criminal offense under New Jersey law. So, if you have been charged with harassment, you are facing fines, jail time and other consequences, and you should hire a New Jersey harassment attorney promptly to help you build a strong defense.

When Is Harassment a Criminal Offense in New Jersey?

New Jersey’s harassment statute, N.J.S.A. Section 2C:33-4, identifies three separate offenses. A person can be charged with harassment in New Jersey if he or she:

  • “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.”

Under N.J.S.A. Section 2C:33-4, harassment is graded as a petty disorderly persons offense. This means that it carries up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. In some cases, individuals charged with harassment will face other charges (i.e., assault or domestic violence), and these charges can carry even more significant penalties.

What Are Some Examples of Criminal Harassment?

Due to the breadth of N.J.S.A. Section 2C:33-4, criminal harassment can take many different forms. One common example involves calling someone repeatedly late at night and leaving threatening or offensive messages. Another common example involves threatening to physically harm a domestic partner or spouse. In addition, making threats to neighbors, yelling at someone on the street or in a bar, and bullying co-workers are all examples of acts that may be prosecuted as criminal harassment in New Jersey as well.

How Do Prosecutors Prove Harassment?

While there are several ways for prosecutors to pursue a harassment charge, proving that a defendant is guilty of harassment can be challenging in many cases. Prosecutors must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which means they must have evidence that conclusively answers questions such as:

  • Did the defendant use “offensively coarse language?”
  • Were the defendant’s communications “likely to cause annoyance or alarm?”
  • Did the defendant act with the “purpose to alarm or seriously annoy?”

When our New Jersey harassment attorney represents clients in court, they work to expose as many flaws in the prosecution’s case as possible. We fight to help our clients avoid convictions whenever possible, and we help our clients explore alternatives such as pre-trial intervention (PTI) or conditional dismissal when necessary.

Discuss Your Case with a New Jersey Harassment Attorney

Have you been charged with harassment in New Jersey? If so, we can help, but it is important that you contact us as soon as possible. To schedule a confidential initial consultation with a New Jersey harassment lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., call 877-435-6371 or send us your contact information online now.

 

 

 

 

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