Criminal charges for stalking in New Jersey are governed by N.J.S. 2C:12-10 which provide in pertinent part:
§ 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.
As the above statute details, criminal charges for stalking in New Jersey are typically fourth degree offenses. A fourth degree charge is an indictable criminal offense which will be handled at the Superior Court in the County in which the alleged stalking occurred. A fourth degree charge includes up to eighteen (18) months in jail if convicted. However, stalking can also be a third degree criminal offense in New Jersey depending on the circumstances of the charge. A third degree crime includes between three (3) and five (5) years in state prison if convicted.