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Domestic Violence Stalking Charges

Charged with Stalking Under the PDVA? Discuss Your Domestic Violence Case with an Experienced New Jersey Defense Attorney

Stalking is a common allegation in domestic violence cases. Whether you are only facing stalking charges or you are being accused of other forms of domestic violence as well, you will need to work with an experienced New Jersey criminal lawyer to protect yourself from unnecessary consequences.

Under New Jersey’s Code of Criminal Justice, stalking is classified as an indictable offense. This is comparable to a felony in many other states. Depending on the circumstances, prosecutors can pursue charges for:

  • Fourth-Degree Stalking – Up to a $10,000 fine and 18 months in jail
  • Third-Degree Stalking – Up to a $15,000 fine and three to five years of prison time

Understanding Your Stalking Charge After a Domestic Violence Arrest

Prosecutors can pursue fourth-degree stalking charges in cases that involve allegations of “purposefully or knowingly engag[ing] 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.” For example, if you are being accused of following or spying on a spouse or partner (current or former), you may be facing a fourth-degree stalking charge.

However, there are multiple factors that can elevate stalking to a third-degree indictable offense in domestic violence cases. These factors include:

  • Stalking while you are on parole or probation
  • Violating a domestic violence restraining order that prohibits stalking
  • Stalking a spouse or partner (current or former) or other “protected person” when you have been convicted of stalking them previously

Stalking is one of several crimes covered under New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA). When you are accused of stalking a “protected person” under the PDVA, you can face an immediate domestic violence restraining order in addition to the penalties listed above. The judge can impose a domestic violence restraining order without your presence or knowledge, and if you violate your restraining order, you can face an additional charge for contempt of court. This is also a fourth-degree or third-degree indictable offense depending on the circumstances involved.

What Should You Do if You Have Been Accused of Stalking By a “Protected Person” in New Jersey?

With these consequences in mind, if you have been accused of stalking by someone who is considered a “protected person” under New Jersey’s domestic violence statute, you should speak with an experienced New Jersey defense attorney promptly. While you may have several defenses available, you will need experienced legal representation to assert these defenses effectively—and you will need to assert them before you face unnecessary consequences.

Speak with a New Jersey Criminal Lawyer in Confidence

If you need to speak with a lawyer about defending against a domestic violence stalking charge in New Jersey, you can call 877-435-6371 or contact us online to arrange an initial consultation at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. Once you contact us, we will arrange for you to speak with an experienced New Jersey criminal lawyer in confidence as soon as possible.

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