Harassment includes a variety of behaviors that are intended to annoy or alarm, sometimes as one-off events, and sometimes as repeated events.
One key element of a harassment prosecution is intent.
According to the statute, a person can be prosecuted for harassment if they intend to harass, and engage in conduct such as communicating with the victim at inconvenient times, using obscene language, or otherwise contacting them in a way that causes alarm or annoyance.
Threatening to strike, kick, or otherwise physically interact in an unwanted way, or actually striking, kicking, and so forth, is another form of harassment that can prosecuted under the statute.
Finally, there’s a more general catch-all in the law that describes “any other course of alarming conduct” that is designed to alarm or seriously alarm another person, which is also considered harassment.
While typically charged as a petty disorderly persons offense, there are defenses to harassment charges.
In particular, the prosecution has the burden of proving intent, which can be very difficult, especially if you are represented by a capable attorney who can properly rebut allegations made against you.
If you’ve been charged with harassment in New Jersey, don’t believe prosecutors who tell you your best bet is to plead guilty.
Always consult an attorney who works for you, and take no action until you fully understand your options.
For help in all New Jersey counties, call attorney Matthew Reisig at 732-625-9661 and talk to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney for free.