Harassment Lawyer Lawrence, NJ
Criminal Attorney Lauren Scardella Vigorously Defends Clients Against Harassment Charges in Middlesex County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, and Burlington County, NJ
New Jersey’s harassment laws attempt to find a balance between what constitutes free speech that is protected by the U.S. Constitution and the types of repeated, annoying behavior that rise to the level of criminal harassment. An experienced Lawrence criminal defense attorney with experience in handling harassment cases will understand that this fine line can be easily and unknowingly crossed in the context of any relationship. A skilled NJ criminal attorney can also fight to establish an accused client’s innocence in a harassment case.
At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella in Hamilton, NJ, I am a Lawrence harassment lawyer who has successfully defended hundreds of criminal cases, including charges of harassment, simple assault, and other assault & threat crimes. I recognize the potentially fine line between discord within a relationship that results in insensitive communications and more serious acts that may constitute criminal harassment. NJ harassment charges can arise from any number of circumstances, and I will carefully analyze the facts of each case to form a strong and strategic defense designed to mitigate the charges and help you avoid criminal conviction if at all possible. When I represent a client, I make sure that I get to know the client personally in order to more effectively negotiate on their behalf with the prosecution and argue their case in court if necessary.
Types of Harassment Charges in Trenton, NJ
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4, harassment can occur when a person makes a communication or communications either anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or using offensively coarse language, or in any other manner that is likely to cause annoyance or alarm to the individual receiving the communication.
Harassment is also the common criminal charge in cases where an individual is accused of committing, or threatening to commit, certain physical acts, such as striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or if the individual engages in alarming conduct or repeated acts with the intent of alarming or seriously annoying another person.
While most harassment charges are punishable as petty disorderly persons offenses that carry penalties of up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine, harassment can rise to the level of a fourth degree felony if the person commits the harassing offense while incarcerated, or while on parole or probation as a result of a conviction under any state law. A fourth degree harassment conviction carries potential penalties of up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Why Choose Hamilton Criminal Defense Attorney Lauren Scardella to Lead Your NJ Harassment Case?
As an experienced Lawrence criminal defense attorney, I understand the elements that the prosecution must prove in order to establish their case and obtain a conviction in a harassment case. If the harassment at issue is merely verbal contact, it is critical to understand that the prosecution must prove three primary elements in order to convict:
- The accused individual made or otherwise caused the communication in question.
- The accused individual made that communication with the purpose of harassing another person.
- The communication was made in one of the manners specifically enumerated in the statute.
While each harassment case will turn on its own specific set of facts and circumstances, it is the required element of “harassing intent” that is often most difficult for the prosecution to prove. Under New Jersey law, profanity alone is generally insufficient to establish that criminal harassment occurred. All of the facts and circumstances of the case must be examined as a whole in order to determine whether the prosecution will be able to establish the elements of criminal harassment beyond a reasonable doubt.
Contact East Windsor Harassment Defense Attorney Lauren Scardella for a Free Consultation
At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella in Hamilton, NJ, I provide all of my clients with a free initial consultation, during which we will discuss the harassment charges and the circumstances surrounding those charges. I am available to handle harassment claims statewide, including in South Brunswick, Trenton, Princeton, and Freehold, New Jersey. Call my office today at 609-587-1144 to schedule an appointment, or fill out this online form. The office is located at 2653 Nottingham Way STE 1, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.
Frequently Asked Questions About Harassment Charges in NJ
What if the victim never asked for the harassment to stop?
The prosecution is not required to show that a victim of harassment asked his or her alleged harasser to stop the relevant communication. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney can use this factor to indicate that the behavior did not rise to the level of criminal harassment.
Does a harassment conviction go on the defendant’s record?
Generally, yes. If the conviction was only for a petty disorderly person offense, however, it is not technically a crime. Instead, it is considered an “offense,” which is similar to a misdemeanor in other states. As such, the conviction will still appear on the convicted party’s record, until it can be expunged after five years. In some cases, expungement may be available after just three years, assuming that the person has not been convicted of any other crimes or offenses.