Elizabeth NJ Harassment Attorney
Harassment charges typically arise out of bar fights, neighborhood disputes, incidents of domestic violence, and from situations where people just can’t seem to get along and let things get out of hand.
Should you or a loved one be charged with harassment in Elizabeth New Jersey, an attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has the experience and knowledge to provide you with the legal guidance you need.
Our team of defense lawyers include former prosecutors who have decades of experience trying cases in Elizabeth and other courts in Union County. To speak with a lawyer who can help you successfully defend harassment offense filed against you, call our Union office at 908-227-1700.
What Constitutes Harassment in Elizabeth, New Jersey?
Harassment arises under N.J.S.S.A. 2C:33-4 in Elizabeth when someone engages in one of three categories of conduct. Unlike disorderly conduct which must be committed in public, this charge is directed at behavior that can occur anywhere and involves:
- The repeated use of coarse or offensive language, name calling, or using a derisive tone to vex, harass, or annoy another.
- Pushing, striking, or shoving another individual, or threatening to do so.
- Any alarming course of conduct which is clearly done to vex, harass, or annoy another individual.
A communication can result in a conviction for harassment as a result of face-to-face communication, text messages, emails, telephone calls, or social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.).
Harassment is usually classified as a petty disorderly persons offense in New Jersey. However, it can become an indictable fourth-degree felony if the offense took place while you were on parole or probation for a previous indictable criminal offense. In this case, the charge will be handled in the county Superior Court and will be subject to much harsher penalties.
A petty disorderly persons offense for harassment will be tried before a judge of the Elizabeth Municipal Court, which is located at 208 Commerce Pl, Elizabeth, NJ 07201, and can be reached by telephone at 908-558-6800. If you are convicted of a petty disorderly persons offense for harassment in the municipal court, you will face the following consequences:
- 30 days in a county jail;
- Fines up to $500;
- Driver’s license suspension; and
- A criminal record for harassment.
If the harassment arose out of some form of domestic or dating relationship, the incident can also give rise to restraining order. A restraining order is intended to protect a victim of domestic violence by barring any contact between the parties. Harassment is considered a predicate act of domestic violence so it often arises in tandem with family court proceedings to determine whether a permanent restraining order is needed.
How an Elizabeth Harassment Lawyer Can Help?
A criminal conviction for harassment can ruin your life. It can severely limit your ability to get a decent job, destroy your reputation, and make it difficult for you to rent a place to live. Why let one mistake ruin your life?
There are a variety of reliable strategies to defend a harassment charge. One of the most effective strategies is to have the charge downgraded to a municipal ordinance offense. A municipal ordinance offense will not result in a criminal record and the only penalty you will likely receive is a small fine.
If that strategy fails, we may consider taking the case to trial. If the prosecutor’s evidence is weak or subjective, or if the witnesses to the alleged offense do not show up in court, or if the victim drops the case or refuses to testify, the charges will go away.
Finally, most of the time when you are guilty of harassment, you may also be a victim of the same. When this is the case, there may be ways by which we can resolve your case that will involve neither a trial nor a conviction.
Elizabeth NJ Harassment Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been charged with harassment in Elizabeth, NJ, call The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall to speak with a qualified defense lawyer who can help you keep your record clean or, at the very least, minimize the consequences a conviction. Attorneys are available to discuss the facts of your case 24/7 by contacting our Union Office. Call 908-272-1700 to speak to an attorney immediately without charge.