Being charged with a criminal offense in Atlantic City can be one of the most challenging, overwhelming, and stressful moments in your life. This is especially true if you are charged with a crime such as stalking. If convicted for this crime, you can face devastating criminal penalties. However, you are not alone.
Our Atlantic City, NJ stalking defense lawyers from the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, can help you with your case. We will fight aggressively and strategically to help you fight against your charges. Call our lawyers today and let us help you with your case. To learn more about your case in a free, confidential consultation, call our legal offices today at (609) 616-4956.
Understanding Stalking Charges in Atlantic City
Stalking is a criminal offense defined under § 2C:12-10. Typically, stalking involves unwanted contact or communication from a person. Furthermore, the alleged perpetrator must knowingly and purposely engage in conduct that would cause the victim to fear for their overall safety or their loved one’s safety.
Some people believe stalking is not a “big deal” or a lesser criminal offense, especially when compared to more severe crimes. However, stalking charges should not be taken lightly. Getting convicted for this offense can lead to prison time and hefty criminal fines. It is essential to take your charges seriously and contact an experienced Atlantic City stalking defense attorney.
At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, we know how challenging and stressful dealing with this specific criminal charge can be. For this reason, we strive to provide our clients with an aggressive legal defense to help them fight against their charges. If you or a loved one was charged with this criminal offense, call our lawyers today.
What are the Penalties for Stalking in Atlantic City, NJ?
Before having a clear idea of all of the penalties you can face if convicted of stalking in Atlantic City, it is necessary to discuss the way New Jersey classifies crimes. Typically, many jurisdictions divide crimes into two main categories. These categories are known as misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors refer to lesser criminal offenses carrying mild penalties – for the most part. Felonies, on the other hand, are more severe and may lead to the most punishing penalties.
Unlike these jurisdictions, New Jersey – including Atlantic City – divides crimes into disorderly persons offense (equal to misdemeanors) and indictable crimes (equivalent to felonies). The crime of stalking in Atlantic City is considered an indictable crime. Indictable crimes or “crimes” are subdivided into degrees. Typically, the lower the degree, the more severe the criminal act and its penalties. Generally, stalking can be charged as a fourth-degree crime. Under New Jersey law, a fourth-degree crime can be punishable with up to eighteen months in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
However, this is not the only penalty that can be associated with a stalking conviction. Your penalties may increase depending on your case’s unique circumstances. For instance, your charges can be upgraded to a third-degree crime if you were on parole when you committed the alleged stalking. Moreover, if you are arrested and charged for the same crime against the same person, you can also be charged with a third-degree crime. This means you can face up to five years in prison and up to $15,000 in criminal fines. It is always in your best interest to hire an experienced Atlantic City, NJ stalking defense attorney.
Potential Defenses to Stalking Charges in Atlantic City
Under our criminal justice system, you are innocent until proven guilty. This means you have an opportunity to prove your innocence. The fact that you were charged with stalking in Atlantic City doesn’t mean you are automatically guilty of your alleged offense. There are ways your Atlantic City stalking defense lawyer can help to fight against your charges. For instance, one of the main elements the prosecution will need to prove is that you had the intent to commit your alleged crime. The prosecution must prove beyond any reasonable doubt you “knowingly and purposely” stalked the alleged victim. If the prosecution cannot prove you had the intent required to satisfy the law’s definition of stalking, you cannot be charged with this crime – let alone be convicted. Your attorney can help you fight aggressively, attacking vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you.
Another potential defense is a mistake of fact. You can argue that you were at the wrong place, at the wrong time when the alleged victim felt you were allegedly stalking them. These situations may not be as common; however, it is possible your situation was not intentional and just the result of a mistake of fact. Your Atlantic City stalking defense lawyer can help you with this matter.
Insanity can also be another potential defense to stalking charges. This circles back to the element of intent discussed above and the state of mind required to prove you are guilty of your alleged offense. You can argue you were not in the right state of mind, and you could not distinguish between right or wrong the moment you committed the alleged crime.
These are examples of potential defense strategies that can help you fight against your stalking charges in Atlantic City, NJ. It is critical to understand that these charges are serious, and a criminal conviction for this criminal offense can be devastating. It is always in your best interest to hire an experienced Atlantic City stalking defense lawyer who can guide you through this challenging criminal charge.
Contact Our Atlantic City Stalking Defense Lawyer for a Free Case Review
If you or a loved one was charged with stalking in Atlantic City, our lawyers can help. At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, we have the experience, skill, and dedication necessary to provide you with the quality legal defense you require. A criminal conviction for stalking can lead to devastating consequences, including a criminal conviction in your record. This can lead to many challenges down the road, even years after serving prison time. It is essential to act quickly and call our law offices as soon as you can. To learn more about all of our services in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (609) 616-4956.