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The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice defines stalking as the purposeful and knowing engagement in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of a third party. This “course of conduct” may be repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a specific person, repeatedly committing harassment against a specific person, etc. In turn, it defines cyberstalking as making one or more communications in an online capacity with the intention of harassing a specific person. Continue reading to learn what circumstances constitute cyberstalking a crime and how an experienced Morristown criminal defense lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can help you defend against such defamatory accusations.

Under what circumstances is cyberstalking considered a crime in the state of New Jersey?

The term “cyberstalker” may be used against you flippantly. However, there may only be certain circumstances in which this constitutes a criminal activity by New Jersey criminal law’s standards. First of all, it must entail a form of electronic communication, such as email, text, social media posts, etc. Then, it must entail any of the following courses of conduct:

  • Repeatedly threatening to inflict bodily injuries on a specific person.
  • Repeatedly threatening to inflict property damages on a specific person’s belongings.
  • Repeatedly threatening to commit a crime against a specific person or their property.
  • Repeatedly sending lewd, indecent, or obscene material via electronic communication.
  • Repeatedly sending material via electronic communication intended to emotionally harm or inflict fear of emotional/physical harm to a specific person.

What are the possible criminal punishments for cyberstalking?

If the New Jersey criminal court finds you guilty of cyberstalking, it may punish you with a fourth-degree indictable offense. Specifically, this charge may consist of a prison sentence of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000.

It is worth mentioning that cyberstalking may be considered a form of domestic violence if it is committed against a current or former spouse, a current or former partner, a parent of a shared child, or another member of a household. If this is your case, as per New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, the court may also be prompted to place a final restraining order against you.

A violation of a domestic violence restraining order may also be punished as a fourth-degree indictable offense. This may mean a subsequent 18-month prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. However, if the violation does not constitute an offense in and of itself, it may be charged as a disorderly personal offense instead. This may mean a lesser punishment of a six-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.

Overall, to allow justice to reign supreme, it may be in your best interest to retain the services of a skilled Morristown criminal defense lawyer. Contact Graves Andrews, LLC today.