Serving the Elizabeth NJ Superior Court & All Municipal Courts in Union County

Union County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

Over 100 Year of Combined Experience

Former County & Municipal Prosecutors



Harassment

Charged With Harassment in Union County New Jersey

The criminal offense of harassment is taken very seriously in New Jersey.  There are no gifts from prosecutors in Union County municipal courts when it comes to those charged with harassment. The same is true at the Elizabeth Superior Court for individuals facing allegations of harassment in conjunction restraining order. It is therefore important that you consult an experienced defense lawyer if you are facing this charge. At Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver, you will find attorneys who have been practicing for decades in Cranford, Summit, Union, Westfield, Elizabeth and other venues in the county.  The firm includes eight criminal attorneys making it one of the largest of its kind in the state. Several of these members are also former prosecutors. We are proud of the skill, knowledge and relationships we have built over the last two decades and know that these attributes are invaluable in achieving excellent results for our clients. If you would like to speak to an attorney on our staff anytime 24/7, contact our Union Office at 908-272-1700.

Towns Our Union County Harassment Lawyers Serve

Cranford NJ Harassment Defense Lawyer Kenilworth Harassment Attorneys
Linden Harassment Lawyers Elizabeth NJ Harassment Lawyer
Rahway Harassment Defense Attorney Roselle Harassment Lawyers
Union Township NJ Harassment Lawyer Hillside NJ Harassment Defense Attorneys
Westfield Harassment Attorney Clark New Jersey Harassment Lawyers
Springfield NJ Harassment Defense Attorneys Scotch Plains NJ Harassment Lawyer

Harassment Offense Under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4

The New Jersey Harassment Law is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4. This statute sets forth several scenarios under which an individual may be convicted of this violation. You commit harassment if, with the intention to harass, you: (1) cause communications to be made anonymously, during extremely inconvenient hours, or while using offensive language; (2) subject another to striking, kicking, shoving or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or (3) engage in alarming conduct or actions of a repetitive nature that are intended to alarm or seriously annoy. The law does not provide a list of actions or magic words that cross into the realm of being harassing. The determination of whether harassment has occurred therefore often hinges on an objective standard of what is too much under the particular facts and circumstances of the parties. Irrespective, an individual must possess an intent to harassment. A harassment charge is typically a disorderly persons offense prosecuted in municipal court.  Harassment can also, however, grade up to a Fourth Degree crime, a felony, which can only be resolved at the Union County Superior Court which is located in Elizabeth. 

Language or Statements Constituting Harassment. A communication must be made with the conscious object to alarm or annoy the target in order for it to be harassing in violation of 2C:33-4. Virtually any form of verbal or written communication can constitute harassment if it is made contrary to subsection (1) including those made via email, telephone or text. Whether a communication is offensively course or made during in convenient hours involves consideration of the gender, age, occupation and any other relevant circumstances of the victim, as well as the setting in which the communication was made.

Harassment Caused from Offensive Touching. The second form of harassment involves touching that falls short of a simple assault. As set forth expressly in the statute, striking, kicking, shoving, offensive touching, or a threat to do so, qualifies as harassing contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4. The distinction between physical contact that results in harassment as opposed to an assault lies in the fact that the latter is undertaken to cause bodily injury or menace, as opposed to harass the victim. When the contact causes alarm or annoyance as contrast with fear or actual injury (i.e. simple assault), it is harassment.

Alarming or Repetitive Conduct That Is Harassment. The third variety of harassment is committed if the actor engages in a pattern of alarming or seriously annoying conduct that is intended to be harassing. The pivotal factor with this form of 2C:33-4 offense is purpose to cause serious annoyance or alarm.

The penalties if you plead or are found guilty of harassment depend on the grade of the offense. A disorderly persons offense for harassment results in a fine of up to $1,000 and a county jail term that can reach 6 months. A fourth degree crime for harassment carries penalties that include up to 18 months in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Union NJ Harassment Defense Attorney

While harassment charges are often vigorously prosecuted, the truth is that the lawyers at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver are successful in avoiding conviction in a significant majority of cases. If you are seeking legal advice or the assistance of a criminal attorney for a harassment charge in Clark, Kenilworth, Roselle, Union, Springfield, we have the tools to help. An attorney is available at our Union NJ firm to assist you 24/7 by calling 908-272-1700.

Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver, defends individuals charged with harassment in Clark, Cranford, Elizabeth, Kenilworth, Roselle, Roselle Park, Linden, Rahway, Summit, Mountainside, Scotch Plains, Berkeley Heights, Fanwood, Westfield, Springfield, Union, Hillside, Garwood, Plainfield and New Providence.