Cyber Harassment

Mercer County NJ Cyber Harassment Lawyer

Obviously social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin have forever changed the way society communicates and some may suggest that the change was for the better but they have also opened the door for what is known as Cyber-Harassment. In 2013, the legislature decided to enact NJSA 2C:33-4.1, which seeks to prosecute those that use the internet in order to commit the crime of harassment. The internet has really opened the door and made it much easier for someone to harassing another. As a result, when the legislature enacted the cyber-harassment statute they also decided to increase this crime to an indictable offense, as opposed to a petty disorderly persons offense. So, now if convicted, a Defendant goes from facing a maximum of 30 days in jail to up to 18 months in a State Prison.

Also, cyber-harassment could be considered an act of domestic violence as well. Which opens the door for the victim to seek a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) as well. To make matters worse, if the crime is considered an act of domestic violence, the Defendant may also be forced to spend at a minimum of 48 hours in the County jail pending a public safety assessment. Based on that assessment, the prosecution could file for a Detention Hearing, whereby they will be seeking to detain the Defendant in the County Jail, pending trial, without bail. These type of hearing could and always should be contested.

Local Attorney Near Trenton for Cyber-Harassment Charge

If you have found yourself in this unfortunate situation and would like to speak to one of the Mercer County criminal lawyers about your options and how we could be of assistance, please contact our Mercer County office at 609-789-0779. Our office defends those accused of not only cyber-harassment but harassment, terroristic threats, stalking, aggravated assault, simple assault and those served with a restraining order as well. If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Charged with Cyber-Harassment in West Windsor, New Jersey

NJSA 2C:33-4.1, which is the governing statute for Cyber-harassment, was created in an effort to prevent those from using the internet, including social media site to harass others. To be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must prove the following:

  • With the purpose to harass another, the Defendant made a communication in an online capacity, whether via any electronic device or through a social networking site and during that communication, the Defendant:
    • Threatened to inflict injury or physical harm to another person or there property; or
    • Knowingly sent, posted, commented, requested, suggested, or proposed any lewd, indecent, or obscene material to or about a person with the intent to emotionally harm a reasonable person or place a reasonable person in fear of physical or emotional harm to his person; or
    • Threatened to committed any crime against the person or the person’s property.

In State v. Castagna, the Court stated that “to harass means to annoy, torment, wear out or exhaust. In addition to the harassment, the prosecution must prove that the Defendant acted with the purpose to harass.  Meaning that is was the Defendant’s conscious objective to annoy, torment, wear out or exhaust the victim. Proving this can become problematic for the prosecution, especially in domestic violence cases where the Defendant is simply trying to rekindle a relationship. This is why we strongly recommend that you speak to a lawyer about your options.

Is there Jail Time for a Cyber-Harassment Charge?

Unlike harassment, cyber-harassment, is typically considered a fourth degree indictable offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a felony. If convicted, a Defendant would be facing up 18 months in State Prison and a fine up to $10,000. However, if the Defendant is over the age of twenty-one and impersonates a minor for the purpose of harassing a minor, then the Defendant will be charged with a crime of the third degree. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in State Prison plus a fine up to $35,000.

Princeton NJ Cyber-Harassment Defense Attorney 

Proetta & Oliver represents those accused of serious felony crimes like cyber-harassment, trespassing, burglary, sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child in courts throughout Mercer County. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation today, then please call our Hamilton Office 609-789-0779 or you can try contacting us online. We serve all of Mercer County, including towns like East Windsor, Princeton, Robbinsville, West Winsdor, Highstown, Trenton and Lawrenceville. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact us.