“New Jersey Stalking” Defined:

New Jersey defines “stalking” in N.J.S. 2C:12-10b. The words themselves in this definition are clear: “A person is guilty of stalking, a crime of the fourth degree, if he purposefully or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress.” Subsections “c,” “d,” and “e” then define circumstances under which stalking becomes elevated to a third degree crime.New Jersey stalking lawyer criminal defenseSubsection c makes stalking a third degree crime when it is done in violation of an existing court order. Subsection d makes stalking a third degree crime when it is a second or subsequent offense aganst the same victim. Under subsection e, stalking becomes a third degree crime committed by a person who is on probation or parole for violating a criminal statute, or actually serving a term of imprisonment for a crime. Any crime.

New Jersey Stalking--A Closer Look:

As mentioned above, the words are clear. But what do they mean? Note, first of all, that “stalking” is very much not limited to the popular understanding of the term. Under conventional understanding, stalking involves following, be it by vehicle or on foot. But New Jersey's definition includes any “course of conduct.” Thus texting, emailing, or even contacting friends or family members of the “victim” would appear to support a conviction. And how about playing a track of music more than once within the hearing of a cantakerous neighbor? Under N.J.S. 2C:12-10a(2), two times is enough to constitute “repeatedly.” The range of potentially triggering activities has no limits.

N.J.S. 2C:10a(3) defines “emotional distress” to mean “significant mental suffering or distress.” But isn't this largely subjective? Shall criminality depend upon an individual “victim's” particular neurosis or supersensitivity? The statute does define “cause a reasonable person to fear” to mean “to cause fear which a reasonable victim, similarly situated, would have under the circumstances.” But what is a “reasonable victim?” Adding fuel to the fire, another New Jersey statute extends the range of who can be a victim of stalking. N.J.S. 2C:12-10.2a defines remedies specifically to “victims” who are developmentally disabled or mentally defective. Thus bootstrapping the two statutes, the “reasonable victim similarly situated” can mean the “reasonably” (if there is such a thing) mentally defective individual.

Arguably, guilt or innocence of stalking might depend on the subjective state of mind of the “victim.” State of New Jersey v. B.A., 458 N.J. Super. 391 (App. Div., 2019) grappled with that issue. The B.A. court measured the behavior of the defendant in that case against what “a resonable victim” should be expected to endure. In affirming B.A.'s conviction, the court found that the nature and content of his communications could cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or cause emotional distress. These factors, opined the court, removed B.A.'s behavior from speech that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution might otherwise protect.

New Jersey Stalking--Penalties

New Jersey Stalking convictions carry penalties that extend far beyond the criminal conviction itself.New Jersey stalking lawyer must examine mental soundness of the alleged victim in planning criminal defense N.J.S. 2C:12-10.1, upon application of the “victim,” calls for the issuance of a permanent restraining order against the defendant upon sentencing. And the judgment of conviction itself makes application for that permanent restraining order automatic. The effectiveness of that permanent restraining order is statewide. Violation subjects the defendant to additional criminal penalties.

New Jersey Stalking--Legal Defenses:

New Jersey law relating to stalking is far-reaching. The largely subjective elements of criminal stalking expose alleged violators to criminal convictions for what might be utterly innocent conduct. At the same time, these largely subjective elements also provide significant grist for legal defense. Persons charged with stalking should contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer immediately. Much can be done to reduce the likelihood of a criminal conviction. But skilled legal guidance is needed to tell the defendant what to do and, equally importantly, what not to do.

Stalking under Federal Law:

Stalking is also a crime under federal law. The specific federal statute that criminalizes stalking is 18 U.S.C. § 2261A. Where the New Jersey statute that defines stalking is very general, the federal law that defines stalking is very specific. 18 U.S.C. § 2261A first specifies jurisdictional requirements for the law to apply at all. It then specifies in meticulous detail those different acts that can constitute stalking. Finally, it specifies (by reference to a different federal statute) the punishment for federal stalking.

Like many federal statutes, 18 U.S.C. § 2261A is written in excruciatingly convoluted language. We provide that language below, as an appendix to this page.

Call NJ and Federal Stalking Defense Lawyers

Criminal Defense Lawyers in New Jersey™ have the requisite training and experience to aggressivelyNew Jersey NJ Defense Lawyers utilize evidence rules in court defend charges of stalking. Persons facing such charges should contact them at the earliest possible moment. Talk to them in a no-cost no-obligation office conference. There is everything to gain and nothing to lose.


18 U.S.C. § 2261A. Stalking.


(1) travels in interstate or foreign commerce or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or enters or leaves Indian country, with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or place under surveillance with intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person, and in the course of, or as a result of, such travel places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, or causes substantial emotional distress to that person, a member of the immediate family (as defined in section 115) of that person, or the spouse or intimate partner of that person; or

(2) with the intent--

(A) to kill, injure, harass, or place under surveillance with intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person in another State or tribal jurisdiction or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States; or

(B) to place a person in another State or tribal jurisdiction, or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to--

(i) that person;

(ii) a member of the immediate family (as defined in section 115) of that person; or

(iii) a spouse or intimate partner of that person;

uses the mail, any interactive computer service, or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce to engage in a course of conduct that causes substantial emotional distress to that person or places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, any of the persons described in clauses (i) through (iii) of subparagraph (B);

shall be punished as provided in section 2261(b) of this title.

 Overview  |  Allan Marain  |  Norman Epting, Jr.  |  The Practice  |  Selecting a Lawyer 
 Trial Transcript  |  Jobs and Internships 

 Abandoned Cars  |  Aiding Suicide  |  Appeals  |  Arson  |  Assault  |  Bad Checks  |  Bribery  |  Burglary 
 CDS in Vehicle  |  Cell Phones  |  Child Pornography  |  Cocaine  |  Computer Crimes 
 Conditional Dismissal  |  Conspiracy  |  Credit Card Fraud  |  Drug Crimes  |  Drug Deaths  |  DWI/DUI 
 Eluding  |  Endangering  |  Entrapment  |  Evidence  |  Expungements  |  False Swearing 
 Federal Appeals  |  Federal Crimes  |  Fictitious Reports  |  Forgery  |  Graves Act  |  Gun Law  |  Harassment 
 Hazing  |  Homicide  |  Identity Theft  |  Insurance Fraud  |  Invasion of Privacy  |  Jury Service  |  Juvenile Delinquency 
 Kidnapping  |  Leaving the Scene  |  Lewdness  |  Mail Fraud  |  Manslaughter  |  Marijuana  |  Megan's Law 
 Miranda Warnings  |  Money Laundering  |  Municipal Court  |  Murder  |  NERA  |  No Insurance  |  Official Misconduct 
 PCR  |  Peeping Tom  |  Perjury  |  Point Assessments  |  Police Misconduct  |  Possession  |  Prostitution 
 PT I  |  Receiving Stolen P'ty  |  Red Light Cameras  |  Refusals  |  Resisting Arrest  |  Revoked List  |  Robbery 
 Sexual Assault  |  Shoplifting  |  Stalking  |  Street Crimes  |  Tax Crimes--Federal  |  Tax Crimes--NJ 
 Terroristic Threats  |  Theft  |  Theft by Deception  |  Theft of Services  |  Traffic Offenses 
 Unauth'd Prac Law  |  Underage Drinking  |  Underage Gambling  |  Urinating in Public 
 Vehicular Homicide  |  Violation of Probation  |  Weapons Possession  |  White Collar Crimes  |  Wire Fraud 

 Discrimination  |  Domestic Violence  |  Drivers Licenses  |  Excessive Force  |  Freedom of Speech 
 Personal Injury  |  Whistleblowers 

 Case Review  |  Super Links  |  Double Overtime  |  Directions  |  Parking  |  How Did We Do?  |  PGP Public Key 

 The Bottom Line 

Law Offices of Allan Marain
Attorneys and Counsellors at LawFirm accepts PayPal for fees relating to New Jersey Lawyers for criminal charges, DWI DUI in State and federal court in New Jersey
100 Bayard Street
P.O. Box 1030
New Brunswick NJ 08903
Phone 732-828-2020
or Toll Free: 877-652-6531
email: Info@MarainLaw.com

“We, as criminal defense lawyers, are forced to deal with some of the lowest people on earth. People who have no sense of right and wrong. People who will lie in court to get what they want. People who do not care who gets hurt in the process. It is our job, our sworn duty as criminal defense lawyers, to protect our clients from those people.”

Cynthia Roseberry

“In criminal law there is only one true law, the constitution of the united states. All statutes and codes are merely the ravings of politicians.”

Counsellors at Law in the Law Offices of Allan Marain, located in New Brunswick, represent clients throughout Central and Northern New Jersey. That includes Asbury Park, Bedminster, Belleville, Bergenfield, Berkeley Heights, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Bogota, Bound Brook, Branchburg, Brick, Bridgewater, Clifton, Clinton, Closter, Cranbury, Cranford, Cresskill, Deal, Demarest, Denville, Dover, Dumont, Dunellen, East Brunswick, East Rutherford, East Windsor, Edison, Elizabeth, Emerson, Englewood, Englishtown, Ewing, Franklin Township, Freehold, Garfield, Garwood, Hackensack, Highland Park, Hillsborough, Hillsdale, Hillside, Jersey City, Kearny, Kenilworth, Lakewood, Lawrence Township, Mahwah, Manville, Marlboro, Matawan, Metuchen, Middlesex Borough, Monroe, Mountainside, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Nutley, Old Bridge, Paramus, Parsippany, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainfield, Plainsboro, Point Pleasant, Princeton, Rahway, Raritan, Readington, Red Bank, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood, Robbinsville, Rockaway, Rocky Hill, Roselle, Roselle Park, Rutherford, Sayreville, Scotch Plains, Seabright, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Secaucus, Shrewsbury, Somerville, South Amboy, South Bound Brook, South Brunswick, South Orange, South Plainfield, South River, Sparta, Spotswood, Summit, Teaneck, Tenafly, Toms River, Trenton, Union, Wall, Warren, Washington, Watchung, West Windsor, Westfield, Woodbridge, and other communities in Bergen County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County. They handle criminal matters in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. They are available to handle matters in the United States Supreme Court.

Criminal Lawyers in New Jersey and MarainLaw.com
© Copyright 2006-2020, Allan Marain, New Brunswick, NJ, All rights reserved.
For information, questions, or suggestions about our site, please email our webmaster.
Web site design by DNEBA Enterprises » Accessible and Effective Web Design.
Search engine optimization by Rank Magic.
Page last updated 12 July 2020, and displayed Wednesday 30 September 2020, at 14:04:08 EDT.
Hosted by Westhost »When you expect more from your Web host.

Allan MarainClients’ ChoiceAward 2020   NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer Provides Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional code   Criminal Lawyer in NJ adheres to CSS standards   Site powered by Apache for users with problems relating to NJ New Jersey marijuana pot paraphernalia arrest arrested municipal court lawyer Rutgers police   Dynamic Drive provides much-valued technical assistance for attorneys at law in New Jersey court defense