Harassment Attorney in Middlesex County
When people think of harassment, they might envision someone constantly bothering another person. The truth is that many criminal harassment charges stem from misunderstandings: an argument between two people who live together or who work together, people in the same neighborhood, former couples, and family members, can quickly escalate and then spiral out of control. Perhaps you and your wife, girlfriend, or significant other had a bit too much to drink and then began to argue once you got home, only for the cops to be called to the residence. What happens next could have repercussions that affect you for a very long time. Harassment charges in New Jersey need to be taken very seriously right from the start because a conviction could result in the accused being sentenced to significant jail time, as well as being forced to adhere to a permanent restraining order. If you or your loved one has been arrested for and charged with harassment then you are now subject to serious penalties in the event that you are found guilty. The penalties for harassment in New Jersey include court ordered counseling, mandatory probation, a criminal record, and even a stint in county jail. When facing harassment charges, the services that an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has a proven track record of success can provide often make the difference between a finding of guilty and not guilty. The experienced defense attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law are dedicated to defending clients against criminal charges including harassment, as well as restraining orders that may arise in connection with harassment charges.
Founding attorney, Will Proetta Esq., has handled well over 1,000 cases during his career. He prides himself and our firm on working closely with our clients throughout each stage of the case, keeping them informed of the various steps and knowledgeable about their defense. We represent clients facing harassment charges and restraining orders throughout Middlesex County and the surrounding area, including in Helmetta, South Brunswick, Edison, Dunellen, South River, Old Bridge, and Piscataway. Call us today at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation with an experienced harassment defense lawyer who will answer questions your regarding your case and potential representation. One of our attorneys is available immediately to provide you with a free consultation.
Charged with Harassment in Middlesex County?
In New Jersey, a harassment charge is classified as a petty disorderly persons offense. Such an offense is handled in municipal court with appropriate jurisdiction. If you are found guilty of petty disorderly persons offense for harassment, you can face up to 30 days in Middlesex County Jail and a fine of up to $500. You will also have a criminal conviction of your record that can impact your ability to obtain employment and other opportunities in the future. The crime of harassment is addressed in the state criminal code under 2C:33-4. A passage of the New Jersey statute for harassment N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4 has been provided for your convenience below.
New Jersey Harassment Law under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4
A person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, with purpose to harass another, he:
a. Makes, or causes to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm;
b. Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or
c. Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person.
A communication under subsection a. may be deemed to have been made either at the place where it originated or at the place where it was received.
Experienced Defense for Harassment Charges in New Jersey
Harassment pertains to private annoyances, which is in contrast to the offense of Disorderly Conduct, which is limited to general disturbances and public annoyance. One of the key factors that the state’s prosecutors must identify in order to prove that harassment has occurred is that the defendant did it with the purpose, or intent, to harass the victim. New Jersey case law has held that profane language, in and of itself, is not enough to prove the requisite intent that must be shown to prove harassment. When defending clients against accused of harassment, our attorneys thoroughly examine the circumstances to identify the best strategy. We often attempt to undermine the claim that the person acted with purpose or intent, creating the reasonable doubt necessary to avoid a conviction for our clients.
Harassment & Restraining Orders in New Jersey
Harassment offenses are often seen in domestic violence cases and accompanied by companion charges such as Simple Assault or Terroristic Threats. A harassment offense can also be the basis for a Final Restraining Order, as it is considered a predicate act of domestic violence under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. Essentially, if you are accused of alarming conduct or repeated behavior conducted in an attempt to seriously annoy a person with who you have or had a dating relationship, are or were previously married, currently or previously shared a residence, or have a child in common with, the person is qualifies as a victim of domestic violence and can file a temporary restraining order against you. Then, you will be forced to attend criminal court for the harassment charge as well as family court for a restraining order hearing. These two legal proceedings occur separately and the outcome of one will not determine the outcome of the other. The standards of proof in restraining order cases vs. criminal harassment cases are different but in both scenarios it is best to have an experienced defense attorney representing you. The lawyers at our firm handle all aspects of harassment cases and we have had great success getting both criminal charges and restraining orders dismissed in Middlesex County and throughout New Jersey. You can always contact us to discuss your specific situation.
Learn More from a Middlesex County Harassment Defense Attorney
Harassment cases can be complicated. When such serious consequences exist, it is always strongly recommended that you seek out and retain professional representation from an experienced Middlesex County harassment defense attorney. Contact our Edison Office to speak with a lawyer to design a customized case strategy to meet your needs at (732) 659-9600.