Totowa NJ Stalking Lawyer
Restraining Order Defense Attorney in Passaic County, New Jersey
Criminal defense attorney Alissa D. Hascup represents clients throughout Passaic County, New Jersey, including Paterson, Passaic, Clifton, Wayne, and North Haledon who have been charged with violent criminal offenses such as stalking, terrorstic threats, harassment, and aggravated assault.
She has successfully handled countless cases in New Jersey, in Superior Court (indictable/felony level offenses) and Municipal Court (disorderly persons/misdemeanor level offenses). Ms. Hascup is a former domestic violence prosecutor and special deputy attorney general. During the course of her career with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, she handled cases ranging from Homicide (murder) and aggravated assault to robbery and weapons offenses. Now she is fighting for you.
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges for a domestic violence related offense, such as stalking, it is important that you are represented by an experienced, aggressive lawyer who is prepared to fight the State and help you achieve the best possible result.
Stalking in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10
Stalking is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10, which provides that:
- A person is guilty of stalking, a crime of the fourth degree, if he purposefully or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress.
- A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he commits the crime of stalking in violation of an existing court order prohibiting the behavior.
- A person who commits a second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
- A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he commits the crime of stalking while serving a term of imprisonment or while on parole or probation as the result of a conviction for any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.
A crime of the third degree is punishable by up to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison.
As you can see, Stalking is upgraded from a crime of the fourth degree to a crime of the third degree when it is done in violation of a domestic violence order. This creates special problems when a person is charged with both stalking and contempt of a restraining order. This is so even if the underlying domestic violence order (or restraining order) is “flawed.” See State v. Gandhi, 201 N.J. 161 (2010).
Consequences of a Stalking Conviction
The laws of the State of New Jersey provide for the entry of both Temporary and Permanent Restraining Orders for Stalking. For instance:
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10.1a provides that a conviction for stalking shall operate as an application for a permanent restraining order limiting the contact of the defendant and the victim who was stalked.
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10.2a provides that in any case involving an allegation of stalking where the victim is a child under the age of 18 years or is developmentally disabled or where the victim is 18 years of age or older and has a mental disease or defect which renders the victim temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding the nature of his conduct, the court may issue a temporary restraining order against the defendant which limits the contact of the defendant and the victim.
Contact a Totowa NJ Stalking Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been accused of or charged with Stalking, whether or not the matter involves a restraining order, it is important for you to contact a lawyer immediately. The collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction, including a Stalking conviction, are permanent and severe. Call or email Alissa D. Hascup’s office anytime for an initial consultation, which is always provided free of charge.