Harassment in New Jersey
New Jersey Harassment Law is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4. This statute makes a person guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense “harassment” if he:
a. Makes, or causes to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm;
b. Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or
c. Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person. A communication under subsection a. may be deemed to have been made either at the place where it originated or at the place where it was received.
d. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2001, c.443).
e. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, in committing an offense under this section, he was serving a term of imprisonment or was on parole or probation as the result of a conviction of any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.
Harassment often occurs in the workplace, and can result in civil lawsuits on top of criminal penalties and jail time. Workplace justice is about people passionately resolving the struggles of working people for a more humane world. The main purpose of harassment laws is to make sure people are not abused by their employers or others.
Defense comes in when people get harmed unintentionally and claim harassment. That is when a criminal defense attorney comes in to explain that people do not always make harmful decisions because of disrespect or prejudice, but because they do not know.
Courtrooms are not the best places to resolve problems because no amount of money can undo a hurt. When someone is hurt s/he thinks to hurt another back by making the person pay money, suffer emotional distress in getting sued, or going to jail. No matter how much another person suffers in return, the victim will think it is not enough with the original hurt still there. However, lawsuits, when they are public, teach the community to promote diversity, to provide safe workplace environments, to not bother people when they want to be left alone, and to treat people fairly.
Sometimes harassment occurs because people make rules without taking into account the entire population. Harassment laws promote equality. Equality means to treat everyone with respect by acknowledging them fully versus just tolerating them when at school or on the job. Acknowledging someone fully let’s a person live the way the person wants, not just allowing for the person to attend an activity.
When faced with harassment charges, engage a New Jersey criminal defense attorney who knows how to interpret criminal statutes to reduce prison time and penalties.