Plainfield NJ Harassment Lawyer
Harassment Offense in Plainfield New Jersey
Sending text messages or emails to your former spouse might seem like a good way to blow off steam after an argument, but it could lead to your arrest. Depending upon what you wrote and the number of messages you sent, a complaint to the Plainfield NJ police could lead to harassment charges being filed against you. What you thought was a harmless way of getting back at your ex or an incident of similar severity, is a criminal offense which can land you in jail for up to 30 days.
Of course you regret what you did, but you need the services of an experienced criminal attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall to help you to avoid the penalties and consequences associated with a criminal conviction. It might not have occurred to you at the time, but our attorneys know those messages could have you have case designated as a domestic violence incident under N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19. In addition to the criminal penalties, a judge in the Family Division of the Superior Court could issue a temporary restraining order against you. Violating it is an additional charge of criminal contempt.
The lawyers at our firm have more than a century of combined experience in Plainfield Municipal Court and in the Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth. They know the most effective strategies to use to obtain the best results possible for you. Contact us today at (908) 272-1700 to speak to a lawyer immediately.
Plainfield Harassment Charge
N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4 defines the crime of harassment as engaging in any of the following prohibited activities:
- 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.
The content of phone calls, text messages and other communications are not the only thing law enforcement looks at when evaluating your conduct. The number and frequency of messages, telephone calls and emails are factors that could lead to a charge of harassment.
If the complainant is related to you or is otherwise designated as a protected person under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19, the offense is treated as a domestic violence incident. The following individuals are protected under the act:
- Your parents
- A current or former spouse
- The parent of your child
- A person you are or were dating
A restraining order can prohibit you from having any contact with the victim, including all forms of communication. If you and the victim live together, you could be barred from living at home.
Penalties for Harassment in Plainfield
Don’t be fooled into thinking of harassment as a minor offense. It is a crime designated as a petty disorderly persons offense in New Jersey, which is the equivalent of a misdemeanor in other states. If you are convicted, you will have a permanent criminal record that could, among other things, prevent employers from hiring you. A conviction also means you could be sentenced to serve up to 30 days in jail and pay a fine of as much as $500.
Harassment can be prosecuted as an indictable crime of the fourth degree, a felony, if you are on probation or parole or were serving time in prison or jail for an indictable offense when the harassment took place. The sentence for conviction could be up to 18 months in prison along with substantial fines.
Plainfield NJ Harassment Defense Lawyer
A dedicated harassment defense attorney at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can provide aggressive and client-focused representation using all legal defenses available to achieve the best outcome for you. Schedule a free consultation to get the answers you need from one of our defense attorneys. We have over 100 years of combined experience and our lawyers may be reached immediately by calling (908) 272-1700. A lawyer on our staff is available to help you now.