People may have different views on what actions are considered harassment offenses. And with this, New Jersey law has a broad take on its harassment charges. But regardless of whether you are being accused or are the victim of harassment, you must understand the stakes at hand. Continue reading to learn the types of harassment charges and how one of the experienced Middlesex County criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Michael A. Policastro can help you determine whether your situation is considered an offense.
What constitutes a harassment charge in the state of New Jersey?
As insinuated above, a wide variety of actions can constitute a harassment charge under New Jersey law. Such actions include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Unwanted communication: that is, communicating offensively or otherwise in a way that may cause annoyance or alarm.
- Physical offenses: that is, striking, kicking, shoving, or otherwise participating in or threatening to participate in offensive physical touch. Importantly, if this action results in serious bodily injury, this will instead constitute a simple assault charge.
- Repeated annoying or alarming actions: that is, repeatedly acting with the purpose to create annoyance or alarm for another person, which causes them to feel anxious, distressed, or threatened.
What are the different types of harassment?
The most common types of harassment that are seen in the state of New Jersey are cyberharassment and sexual harassment.
Cyberharassment is considered when you use electronic communication to threaten to physically harm another person, commit a crime against another person or their property, or otherwise seriously annoy or alarm another person. A subset of this is social media harassment, which is when you knowingly post or make comments that intend to emotionally harm another person.
Then, sexual harassment is when you behave in an offensive way, such as making unwelcome comments or physical advances or requesting sexual favors from another person. Importantly, if these actions are escalated, then this will instead constitute a sexual offense charge.
What are the different types of harassment charges?
To reiterate, the state of New Jersey has different penalties for different harassment charges, all of which depend on the circumstances of your case. The charge and associated penalties you may be facing read as follows:
- A petty disorderly persons offense:
- A $500 fine.
- Jail time for up to 30 days.
- A permanent criminal charge on your record with a possibility of expungement.
- A fourth-degree crime:
- A fine of up to $10,000.
- Jail time for up to 18 months.
- A permanent criminal charge on your record with a possibility of expungement after five years.
- A third-degree crime:
- A fine of up to $15,000.
- Jail time for anywhere between three to five years.
- A felony charge on your criminal record.
For more information, contact Michael A. Policastro, Esq. today.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
No matter your circumstances, if you are facing criminal charges, contact the Law Office of Michael A. Policastro today for the experienced legal counsel you deserve and need.