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Stalking Law

A person may be charged with stalking if that person:
Purposely and repeatedly follows the victims or a member of the victim’s family and engages in conduct which alarms or annoys the victim or members of the victim’s family, such as:

  • sending anonymous letters or other mailings, including email;
  • making persistent phone calls with or without messages;
  • sending unwanted gifts;
  • threatening the safety of the victim or members of her/his family so as to annoy or place the victim (or members of her/his family) in reasonable fear.

The stalker may be someone you know (a friend, co-worker, acquaintance), someone you once had a relationship with or a complete stranger. Stalking does not have to be sexual in nature. Stalkers direct their attention to a specific person, or to that person’s family or friends.

New Jersey Statutes 2C:12-10: Stalking

A person is guilty of stalking 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.

Stalking is a crime of the fourth degree. A second or subsequent stalking offense against the same victim is a crime of the third degree.

Stalking is a crime of the third degree if committed:

  • as a second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim
  • in violation of an existing court order prohibiting stalking;
  • while serving a term of imprisonment; or
  • while on parole or probation as the result of a conviction for any indictable offense under any state or federal law.

The law refers to “course of conduct” as follows:
Course of conduct: repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person; directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, following, monitoring, observing, surveilling, threatening, or communicating to or about, a person, or interfering with a person’s property; repeatedly committing harassment against a person; or repeatedly conveying, or causing to be conveyed, verbal or written threats or threats conveyed by any other means of communication or threats implied by conduct or a combination thereof directed at or toward a person.

If found guilty of stalking:

  • A first-time offender can be sentenced to a term of up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine up to $7,500.
  • A person committing any violation of an existing court order prohibiting stalking can be sentenced to a term of between 3 and 5 years in prison and/or up to a $7,500 fine.
  • A second-time offender (or subsequent offender) can be sentenced to a term of between 3 and 5 years in prison and/or up to a $7,500 fine.

Mercer County Emergency Services Phone Numbers

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault 24 Hour Hotline (609)394-9000

New Jersey Statewide Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline

(800) 572-SAFE (7233)

Womanspace is friendly to the deaf community. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals please text us 24/7 at (609)619-1888

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