Courts take stalking very seriously and impose stiff penalties on those convicted of this offense in Ocean County. Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver understands just how high the stakes can be in terms of your future that this is why its attorneys focus so hard on doing whatever it takes to avoid a conviction for a stalking charge. If you have been accused of stalking, you need retain a qualified attorney with this level of commitment to insure that you rights are fully protected. The lawyers on our defense team possess over 100 years of experience defending stalking charges arising in Toms River, Brick, Jackson, Berkeley, Lacey and other municipalities in Ocean County. One of our former prosecutors is ready to conduct a detailed analysis surrounding your matter so that an effective plan to escape an unfavorable outcome. A lawyer is available for a complementary consultation by contacting our Toms River Office now at (732) 286-6500.Charged with Stalking in Ocean County New Jersey
When pursuit of another individual crosses the line from normal to obsessive, an individual is exposed to a stalking offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10. Far more than an accusation will be necessary, however, for you to be convicted of this charge. Several elements must be established beyond reasonable doubt in order for you to be guilty of stalking and this, unlike many other offenses, is based on a objective person standard. There is only a violation if a reasonable person in the shoes of the victim would have believed that there was an imminent threat posed by the accused. More specifically, the prosecutor must prove that the accused:
- Engaged in speech or conduct directed at another person;
- On at least two occasions;
- The speech or conduct was capable of placing a reasonable person in fear; and
- Knowingly, recklessly or negligently caused the victim to fear bodily injury or death.
See H.E.S. v. J.C.S., 175 N.J. 309 (2003). Each and every one of these elements must be established by the state in order to convict you for stalking.
Grading of a Stalking Offense. Stalking is a fourth degree crime but is enhanced to a third degree crime if one of three circumstances exist (e.g. offense committed when a restraining order is in place, this is the second or subsequent incident of stalking this victim by the accused or the defendant was on parole/probation when the incident occurred).
Penalties for Stalking. The penalties for fourth degree stalking include a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 18 months of imprisonment. Third degree stalking results in maximum penalties that include a $15,000 fine and 5 years in state prison.
Restraining Order. A conviction for stalking automatically results in entry of a final restraining order in favor of the victim.Brick NJ Stalking Lawyers
The consequences of a plea or finding of guilt to stalking can obviously be life altering so hiring the right attorney to defend you is imperative. Our lawyers are savvy advocates who have been defending individuals against stalking charges in South Toms River, Ocean Township, Lakewood, Manchester, Plumsted and elsewhere in the county for several decades. Several members of our defense team also possess extensive experience learning how the court system works from the other side as prosecutors. An attorney at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver is available around the clock to provide assistance with bail and any other issues surrounding your stalking case. To reach a lawyer immediately, contact our Toms River Office at (732) 286-6500.