Springfield NJ Harassment Lawyer
Harassment Charge in Springfield Township New Jersey
Acting in a manner you might think of as a harmless show of emotion or “letting off steam,” could put you behind bars. The New Jersey harassment statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4, is so broad and vague in describing the type of conduct prohibited by it that it is probably one of the most common criminal offenses in Springfield Municipal Court. You should not, however, take a harassment charge lightly. Not only can you be fined, ordered to go to counseling, required to pay restitution and incarcerated in the Union County Jail, but a conviction gives you a criminal record will show up a background check.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is composed of seasoned defense attorneys and former municipal court prosecutors with more than 100 years of collective criminal law experience in all courts throughout the state of New Jersey. Their law practice is devoted exclusively to defending individuals accused of harassment and other criminal law violations. Marked by a dedication to excellence and a commitment to providing each person they represent with an aggressive and innovative defense, their achievements have earned them the gratitude of clients and the respect of members of the legal community. Because we understand the anxiety and uncertainty you experience when arrested or investigated for committing a criminal offense, we have a Springfield harassment lawyer available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to speak to you in a free initial consultation simply by contacting us at (908) 272-1700.
Springfield Harassment Offense
The New Jersey Harassment Law is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4 and it makes it a disorderly persons offense to engage in the following:
- Making, or causing to be made, communications at extremely inconvenient times or communicating anonymously with another person or using offensively coarse language to annoy or alarm the person.
- Kicking, shoving, striking or offensive touching committed or threatened against another person.
- Engaging in a course of conduct intended to alarm or to seriously annoy another person.
Harassment is one of the offenses that N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19 allows courts to use to designate an incident as domestic violence where the victim is one of the class of individuals protected under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (“PDVA”). Protected individuals include:
- Spouse or former spouse (i.e. husband or wife)
- Individuals in a present or former dating relationship (i.e. boyfriend or girlfriend)
- Former or present household member (i.e. parent or child)
- Individuals with a child in common
The PDVA allows a superior court judge to issue a temporary restraining order preventing you from contacting or residing with the victim pending a hearing. The hearing, which must be held within 10 days, could result in the temporary restraining order becoming permanent.
Penalties for Springfield Harassment
A conviction for harassment under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4 is a petty disorderly persons offense for which you can be fined as much as $500, ordered to perform community service or sentenced to serve up to 30 days in jail. The severity of the charge increases to an indictable offense of the fourth degree, the equivalent of a felony, if you were on probation or parole or incarcerated in jail or prison at the time of the alleged harassment. An indictable offense of the fourth degree is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine for as much as $10,000.
If a restraining order has been issued under the PDVA, a violation of that order is a criminal contempt and an additional criminal charge filed against you. Springfield harassment charges are common in divorce or child custody disputes in an effort by one of the parties to gain an advantage over the other.
Springfield Harassment Defense Attorney
When you need trusted legal advice from a Springfield harassment defense attorney who is capable of protecting your rights, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. Our criminal defense attorneys know the law and have the skills to identify the most effective defense strategy for your particular case and its unique set of facts. When you go to court, you want to give yourself the best chance of winning, so contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling (908) 272- 1700. An attorney is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to help you.