If you have any type of Assault, Terroristic Threat, Stalking, or Criminal Mischief charge , chances are good that you also have a Harassment charge.
Where do Harassment Charges come from?
While many crimes like assault, robbery, burglary & shoplifting are committed among strangers, harassment charges stem from toxic relationships.
It’s either your neighbor from hell or the guy who you broke-up with just doesn’t get it.
As criminal defense lawyers, we’ve handled tons of harassment cases.Our mission is always the same: let’s get this nonsense dismissed.
Step 1 - Start with the complaint
Please know that a Harassment charge in NJ is a Petty Disorderly Persons offense. Maximum penalties include up to 30 days in jail & up to $500-fine.
step 2 - identify which section applies to you
1. Annoying Communications 2. Offensive Touching 3. Intent to Cause Alarm For a full definition, read Harassment Charges Defined: Fight The Nonsense.
In our next sample complaint, we’ve highlighted the section of the law in Green.
Step 3 - be clear about your role
Did you intend to "harass"?
1. Sending text messages at inconvenient hours i.e., 2 a.m.
2. Pointing your finger in someone’s face in a menacing way
3. Making anonymous & threatening callsv 4. Repeatedly ringing someone’s doorbell and running away
Once you sit down with your criminal defense lawyer, tell him the truth. Everything you discuss with your lawyer is privileged & confidential. You should feel safe in knowing that your side of the story will not be shared with anyone. For example, if you’ve been charged with harassment for violating a Restraining Order, your should know this.
Now let’s turn to four strategies for dismissing your harassment charges.
4 ways to get Harassment Charges Dismissed
1 - Insufficient Evidence
A lot happens while your case is pending. The prosecution can dismiss your criminal charges after your criminal lawyer provides new evidence. That’s right!
We find the evidence which proves your innocence & show it to the prosecutor.
As a result, they decide that the evidence against you is weak.
It’s important to emphasize the role of your criminal lawyer here.
2 - request a prosecutor conference
Contrary to Hollywood movies, criminal lawyers & prosecutors have good, healthy, professional relationships.
We both chose the area of criminal law and we care about justice.
It is during these Pretrial Conferences that we get to openly discuss your case. Think of it as you would a movie trailer.
It’s the preview of what’s to come. We know that it’s going to be an action movie but we want to see some clips before we watch it.
A member of our defense team will schedule some time with the prosecutor to review evidence, share perspectives, and discuss the pertinent law.
Quite often we’re able to persuade the prosecutor that he doesn’t have a case.
As a result, it gets dismissed!
3 - Dismiss Harassment Through Mediation
4 - Pay A Fine
It may not be the result you wanted, but it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Your case is resolved and your nightmare is over.
A harassment charge can be downgraded to a local ordinance charge. If this happens, jail is off the table.
You pay a fine & you’ll be relieved that the case is over.
Of course, our priority is to get your criminal charges dismissed but a reduced charge can also be a home run!
Uncertain about how many charges your facing? Click here, New Jersey’s Municipal Court Case Search As discussed, there are many to ways to attack the case so it never goes to trial.
But, it is important to find a lawyer who is right for you.
Since it’s such an important decision, take the time to do some basic research.
Once you’ve found a few lawyers you’d like to meet, check to see if they have any client reviews.
At our firm, before a client hires us, we always encourage them to visit this our Client Reviews. If you still have questions about NJ’s Criminal Process, please see below: New Jersey’s Criminal Process: Everything You Need To Know