Union City NJ Harassment Defense Lawyer
Have you been charged with harassment in Union City, NJ? If so, our highly experienced criminal defense attorneys are familiar with this commonly filed charge and we are here to aid in your defense. We understand that there is often more to the story than meets the eye when our clients are facing harassment charges in Union City Municipal Court and throughout Hudson County. Contact our firm today to discuss your case with a harassment defense lawyer who can help tell your side of the story. We provide free consultations, so please feel free to call (201) 793-8018 if you have questions about a harassment case.
Facing Harassment Charges in Union City, New Jersey
Harassment is a petty disorderly persons offense in New Jersey, the details of which are outlined in New Jersey statute section 2C:33-4. Conduct constituting harassment is broad and encompasses a wide range of everyday behavior. Harassment under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4 allows a person to be found guilty if it is proven that, with the purpose to harass another, they:
1) Communicated or caused a communication to be made to another at inconvenient hours, using course or offensive language, or in any other manner that would cause the recipient to be alarmed; or
2) Struck, kicked, shoved, or otherwise touched another in an offensive manner or threatened to do so; or
3) Participated in alarming conduct repeatedly with the intention of alarming or annoying the other person.
Essentially, any unwanted communication can be considered harassment. For example, if you call a person repeatedly, they tell you to stop calling, and you continue to do so knowing that they will be annoyed or alarmed, the person may contact police or file a complaint for harassment. Also, texting your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend repeatedly after being told to stop and being informed that your conduct is upsetting, could also result in a harassment charge. Sometimes, the person who is the subject of harassment is a third party connected to someone else. For instance, if John is upset that his ex-girlfriend is now dating Joe, and he begins sending threatening messages to Joe, he may end up charged with harassment. Aside from communication, you can be charged with harassment if you cause unwanted physical contact that is offensive in some manner. Likewise, contact such as kicking, hitting, slapping, etc. may give rise to a claim of harassment.
Importantly, the harassing conduct does not even have to be committed by you; it simply must be caused by you. This happens when one you tell someone else to contact the intended target and cause alarm in some way through such communication.
Harassment Cases in Union City Municipal Court
While anyone can be charged with harassment, not everyone will be convicted. You are entitled to have a trial before a judge and the alleged victim must come to court and testify. If the person alleging that you committed harassment does not want to testify or otherwise move forward with the case, the prosecutor may be unable to prove their case and your charges may be dismissed. The offense of harassment is subjective and requires that the alleged victim to inform the court of the alleged conduct that occurred. He or she must also testify as to how they were impacted by your actions.
Many cases involve squabbles among significant others and family members. If the parties reconciled after the incident or they are no longer interested in pursuing the case, an attorney can help with getting the case dismissed by arguing that the state failed to prove its case. Similarly, on countless occasions, our clients have been summoned to appear in Union City Municipal Court and the alleged victim fails to appear. In these cases, we file motions to dismiss the case against you, as the case should not be continuously scheduled without the ability to prosecute. Depending on the circumstances, a knowledgeable criminal lawyer can also help to alleviate the pressure you feel to plead guilty or can act as an intermediary between you and the alleged victim. In some cases, a no contact order to avoid contact with the other person can result in a dismissal and help you keep your criminal record clean.
If you or anyone else is ultimately convicted of harassment in Union City, there are significant consequences. Specifically, for the petty disorderly persons offense of harassment, the maximum penalties include 30 days in jail, a fine of $500, court costs and fees, and mandatory financial penalties of $125.
Harassment Allegations for a Restraining Order in Union City NJ
Believe it or not, a harassment charge often results from a failed or failing relationship. Under some circumstances, individuals will use harassment allegations as a mechanism through which to file and obtain a restraining order. Additionally, in the context of a domestic violence case, it can be used effectively to gain an advantage when it comes to important matters like child custody, possession of shared property, etc. Unbeknownst to many, when a restraining order is issued, the protected party obtains sole possession of the home and is usually granted temporary custody of any minor children shared between the parties. While not all harassment cases involve domestic violence or restraining orders, it is a possibility and if this applies to your situation, you should enlist the counsel of an attorney familiar with both criminal and restraining order defense. The lawyers at our firm have extensive experience handling both aspects of harassment matters and we are prepared to defend you in Union City Municipal Court, as well as at a final restraining order hearing in Hudson County Superior Court.
Contact a Union City Harassment Attorney to Discuss Your Case
When you enlist our help with harassment charges that you are facing in Union City, New Jersey our skilled lawyers will review the evidence, file any motions that may benefit your defense, and when so warranted, we will try the case to refute the accusations. For more information and a free consultation, contact us today at (201) 793-8018.