Stalking is a serious criminal offense in the state of New Jersey. In this comprehensive guide, we will define what actions qualify as stalking in New Jersey, discuss the various types of stalking, and detail the potential legal consequences for those found guilty.
At Shugar Law Office, we want you to be fully informed about the law. We’ve made it our mission to educate citizens regarding the New Jersey legal system, its complexities, and the consequences of being convicted of a crime.
What Actions Qualify as Stalking in New Jersey?
Stalking is defined by New Jersey law as “purposeful conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety”. This can include a variety of actions, such as:
- Following someone in public or online
- Sending unwanted communications, including text messages, phone calls, or emails
- Posting or spreading false information about someone online
- Placing a tracking device on someone’s vehicle or property
- Other acts of surveillance or harassment
Types of Stalking
There are two primary types of stalking recognized by New Jersey law: simple stalking and aggravated stalking. Simple stalking refers to actions that cause a victim to feel reasonable fear for their safety, while aggravated stalking involves the use of a weapon, a credible threat of violence, or the violation of a restraining order.
Legal Consequences of Stalking in New Jersey
If found guilty of stalking in New Jersey, the consequences will vary depending on the severity of the crime. First-time offenders can be fined up to $15,000 and imprisoned for up to five years. Repeat offenders can face up to ten years in prison and fines up to $150,000.
In addition to fines and imprisonment, a restraining order may be filed against those found guilty of stalking. This restraining order may include provisions such as prohibiting the offender from contacting the victim, visiting certain locations, or owning a firearm.
Stalking is a serious criminal offense in New Jersey that can have severe and long-lasting effects on victims. To illustrate the gravity of this crime, we will examine two real-world examples:
- In 2018, a 22-year-old man was arrested and found guilty of stalking and threatening his ex-girlfriend. He was sentenced to a total of five years in prison.
- In 2020, a New Jersey man was arrested and charged with aggravated stalking after threatening his ex-girlfriend with a gun. He faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty .
Shugar Law Office: Top-Rated Attorneys Serving New Jersey
Stalking is a serious offense in the state of New Jersey and can have severe legal consequences. Contact the team at Shugar Law Office today if you’re in need of professional legal advice or representation. We handle a wide variety of practice areas, including serving as a criminal defense attorney in Freehold, and are one of New Jersey’s leading traffic lawyers. Reach out today to schedule a consultation, and let us hear your story.