Legislation Assemblyman Reed Gusciora sponsored to strengthen protections for stalking victims cleared the Senate on Monday, giving it final legislative approval.
“We’ve seen too many cases where stalking led to even worse crimes, and this legislation is aimed at making it clear that any behavior that threatens someone’s sense of personal safety has to be taken seriously,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “Everyone in New Jersey has a right to live free from the fear that accompanies being stalked. This bill will move us closer to securing that right for all of our residents.”
The bill (A-3841) would amend current law to make the violation of a temporary restraining order for alleged stalking, or the violation of the provisions of a permanent restraining order issued for a stalking conviction, a crime of the third degree. Under current law, such action is a crime of the fourth degree.
A third degree crime ordinarily is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years and fine of up to $15,000 or both.
The bill, which the Assembly passed unanimously in January, also gained unanimous approval in the Senate. It now heads to the governor’s desk.