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  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: April 1, 2021

In New Jersey stalking or N.J.S.A 2C:12-10b is considered a serious offense that can lead to a multitude of penalties. While this crime is serious in nature, there are multiple different components that are needed in order to make up a valid stalking charge. N.J.S.A 2C:12-10b states: “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 for his safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress”. In order to commit this offense you must not only act in a way that goes against the statutes “course of conduct”, but you must also do so repeatedly in a way that will cause emotional distress and cause a reasonable person…Read More

What is Criminal Mischief?
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: September 3, 2020

Criminal mischief can refer to a variety of offenses. Generally, it refers to acts of vandalism and tampering with victims’ property. In New Jersey, criminal mischief can be charged as a disorderly persons offense, a 4th degree crime, or a 3rd degree crime, depending on the monetary value of the property damages or destroyed. Many people mistakenly believe that criminal mischief charges are not serious criminal charges. Although they certainly carry lower penalties than crimes like murder and arson, they are not charges that should be ignored or downplayed. A criminal mischief charge can come with fines and other penalties for an individual and stay on his or her record possibly for the rest of his or her life. If you have been charged with criminal mischief, work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to try to have your charge…Read More

Lewdness Charges
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: December 28, 2015

The concept of “lewdness” can be difficult for many to grasp. Its technical definition is “a behavior that is crudely sexual in nature,” which can include actions like offensive gestures, certain types of dancing, and commentary made in public. But, as anybody who leaves his or her home is aware, we live in a world of lewdness. Crude and offensive imagery and actions can be seen in public spaces throughout New Jersey and the rest of the United States. For many, the thought of facing a criminal charge for simply behaving or speaking in a sexual manner is dangerously close to an infringement of his or her right to free speech. But in New Jersey, it is possible to be charged with lewdness or indecent exposure. This can happen any time an individual is caught exposing him- or herself in…Read More

Shoplifting Charges in New Jersey
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: December 25, 2015

Shoplifting is a type of theft, just like robbery, fraud, and embezzlement. What sets shoplifting apart from these other types of theft is that it is committed specifically against retailers, rather than against individuals or groups. Because shoplifting is generally a nonviolent type of theft that results in the loss of relatively inexpensive items (generally $200 or less) and is frequently carried out by adolescents, many people think it is a relatively minor offense. But it is not. Shoplifting, like other types of theft, is a criminal offense that can result in serious penalties. If you have been charged with shoplifting, work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine a way to defend your case in court. Do not assume that you must simply take your penalties – in most cases, you can defend your case and have your…Read More

Simple Vs. Aggravated Assault
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: November 18, 2015

“Simple” and “aggravated” are two terms used to describe the severity of a criminal offense. For example, a simple assault can describe any small fight between two individuals while an aggravated assault refers to an altercation where one or both of the parties suffered bodily harm. The descriptors “simple” and “aggravated” can be used to describe other criminal offenses as well, such as robbery. An assault is a physical attack committed against another human being. If you have been charged with assault in New Jersey, whether you are charged with simple or aggravated assault determines the penalties that you face. The penalties you face can play a role in determining your legal strategy. If you have been charged with either type of assault, it is important that you start working on your defense with an experienced criminal defense attorney right…Read More

What Happens if I Die Intestate?
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: October 12, 2015

Dying without a valid will is also known as dying intestate. This means that you have not specified the beneficiaries who will receive your assets after your passing. In New Jersey, intestate laws exist to handle this type of case. If you die without a will, most of your assets will go to your closest relative. If you are married, this is your spouse. If not, the next in line is your children, and beyond them, your parents and finally, your siblings. Under New Jersey’s intestate laws, more than one of these individuals or groups can collect a portion of a deceased individual’s estate. Other types of property are not subject to intestate laws and are instead administered to their co-owners or named beneficiaries. Familiarize yourself with New Jersey’s intestate laws to gain an understanding of how they might affect…Read More

The Expungement Process in New Jersey
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: October 9, 2015

If you have a criminal conviction on your record, you could potentially have that charge removed through a process known as expungement. When you expunge a conviction from your criminal record, it is not removed from your record completely. Rather, it is “hidden” so potential employers, landlords, and others who might make a judgment about you based on your criminal record can not see that you have previously been convicted of a crime. Expunging your record gives you the privilege testifying that you have never been convicted of a crime on school applications, in court, and during an interrogation. Not all convictions can be expunged. Similarly, expunging your record does not prevent all employers from accessing your public record – if you apply for a law enforcement or corrections job, you need to disclose your conviction history to your prospective…Read More

What To Do If You Suspect Domestic Violence Is Happening When Your Child Is With His Or Her Other Parent
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: October 5, 2015

Contact the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) immediately to report the suspected abuse. If your child is in danger, you need to get him or her out of that household immediately. Any time you involve law enforcement or DCPP in your custody case, notify your attorney. If do not accuse your former partner of domestic violence until you have sufficient evidence to do so and have discussed this evidence with your attorney. A false allegation of domestic violence can reflect poorly on you in future interactions with the court. Violating Your Custody Arrangement To Protect Your Child The suspicion of domestic violence is the only reason you can legally violate certain restrictions of your child custody agreement. For example, your custody agreement might state that you are only to spend time with your child every other weekend and…Read More

Disorderly Persons Offenses Explained
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: September 21, 2015

In most of the United States, minor criminal acts are called misdemeanors and major criminal acts are called felonies. This is not the case in New Jersey. In New Jersey, minor offenses are categorized as “disorderly persons offenses” and major offenses are known as “crimes” or “indictable offenses.” Although disorderly persons offenses are a lower level offenses than indictable offenses, they can carry serious penalties for those convicted. Penalties for a disorderly persons conviction can include fines, restitution, community service, and in some cases, a short jail sentence. No matter what type of offense you are charged with committing, it is important that you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your case and your interests in court. Examples Of Disorderly Persons Offenses Harassment Simple assault Possession of a small amount of marijuana Lewd behavior Underage drinking or…Read More

Conditional Discharge vs. Pretrial Intervention
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: August 14, 2015

A criminal conviction can have a permanent, negative effect on an individual’s life. It can prevent the individual from obtaining certain types of employment and severely limit his or her housing opportunities. In New Jersey, first-time offenders have the opportunity to avoid conviction by completing one of two programs: conditional discharge or pretrial intervention. Each has its own requirements for admission and completion. The purpose of these programs is to allow individuals to be rehabilitated, rather than punished. Conditional Discharge If the individual’s charge is for a drug-related disorderly persons offense, he or she may be a candidate for a conditional discharge. This is a program that allows first-time drug offenders to have their charges dropped if they comply with certain requirements set forth by the court. The requirements an individual must meet to qualify for a conditional discharge are:…Read More

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