New Jersey Stalking Law 2C:12-10
2C:12-10. Definitions; stalking designated a crime; degrees
a. As used in this act:
(1) “Course of conduct” means repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to 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.
(2) “Repeatedly” means on two or more occasions.
(3) “Immediate family” means a spouse, parent, child, sibling or any other person who regularly resides in the household or who within the prior six months regularly resided in the household.
b. 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 bodily injury to himself or a member of his immediate family or to fear the death of himself or a member of his immediate family.
c. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he commits the crime of stalking in violation of an existing court order prohibiting the behavior.
d. A person who commits a second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
e. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he commits the crime of stalking while serving a term of imprisonment or while on parole or probation as the result of a conviction for any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.
f. This act shall not apply to conduct which occurs during organized group picketing.
Stalking Charges explained
Often a person charged with the crime of stalking is close with their victim, whether through a current or past relationship. More infrequently the convicted would be a complete stranger to their victim, but in either case, stalking is taken very seriously. An automatic permanent restraining order goes into effect as soon as an individual is convicted of stalking. The person convicted has been proven to be purposely behaving in a way that the victim believed the individual could cause harm to the victim or a family member. Some examples of stalking would be calling an individual continuously, following a person, sending letters or messages that may instill fear or cause a person to feel threatened.
Stalking can either be charged in the third or fourth degree. In a third degree stalking case, the individual must have violated a restraining order, had to have committed this offense before, or has to be on probation or parole for another felony level crime. Being charged with stalking in the third degree holds consequences of up to five years in prison. When an individual is charged with stalking in the fourth degree, the penalty can be a prison sentence of up to eighteen months.