Los Angeles Civil Harassment Restraining Order Attorney

Los Angeles Civil Harassment Restraining Order Attorney

Los Angeles residents have the right to file a civil harassment restraining order against someone who threatens their physical or emotional wellbeing. Unfortunately, restraining orders are often issued based on misunderstandings or false accusations. At The Rodriguez Law Group, our experienced criminal defense lawyers are here to protect your legal rights.

If a temporary order is made permanent, your freedom of movement can be limited for years—and very little evidence is needed to get a temporary restraining order. Once the order has been issued, it is critical to have a skilled Los Angeles civil harassment restraining order attorney by your side. Call for a free consultation with our lawyers to learn more about protecting your future today.

Why It’s Important to Hire a Defense Lawyer for your Civil Harassment Restraining Order

Courthouse facade.

The experienced Los Angeles defense attorneys at The Rodriguez Law Group can fight to prevent a simple misunderstanding from limiting your freedoms for years.

Our legal team was founded by a former prosecutor who knows the defense strategies that work when fighting a restraining order. We can:

  • Work quickly to build a persuasive case against making a temporary order final
  • Defend any accusations that you have violated an existing order
  • Defend against any criminal charges related to the restraining order, including harassment, stalking or assault charges

Civil harassment restraining orders are legal documents. The order will be entered into law enforcement databases in California. Any time the person who has filed the restraining order feels threatened, they can call the police to enforce the terms of the order.

While these restraining orders are handled in civil court, it is important to understand the serious consequences they carry. Even an inadvertent violation of a restraining order can result in criminal charges. Our skilled criminal defense lawyers put in the work to fight any charges against you. We will:

  • Present witnesses who can testify to your character
  • Locate and present evidence to discredit your accuser’s testimony
  • Demonstrate that you pose no credible threat to your accuser’s safety

A temporary restraining order does not have to permanently impact your life. Our lawyers can use our significant knowledge to fight the court order and defend your rights. Call for a free case review today so that we can put our substantial legal experience to work for you.

Overview of Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

There are many different types of restraining orders. Civil harassment restraining orders are designed to protect individuals from some type of threatening or annoying behavior. Usually, the order is issued to stop and prevent harassment or stalking. A civil harassment restraining order can be based upon:

  • Violence, including assault or sexual assault
  • Credible threats of violence
  • A course of conduct that seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the person and serves no legitimate purpose

Civil harassment restraining orders are issued quickly – some within 24 hours. Emergency protection orders, in particular, can be secured quickly once the order is requested.  The initial restraining order lasts only until you have a hearing before the court. A temporary order can last for 21 days. If the judge decides to extend the order, however, any restrictions can last for between one and five years.

What is a Credible Threat of Violence?

For the order to stand based upon threats, California law requires that the threat be credible. In other words, the person requesting the restraining order must show:

  • Your actions would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety
  • Your actions actually have caused such fear for a person requesting the order
  • Your actions served no legitimate purpose

Refuting these allegations can be key to having the restraining order thrown out.

Civil Harassment Restraining Orders Based on Harassment or Stalking

The person who requests the restraining order does not have to demonstrate a past history of physical abuse to get the order. Serious harassment or stalking are sufficient grounds for the judge to grant an order. This is true as long as the harassment was serious enough to cause a reasonable person significant emotional distress.

A civil harassment restraining order can be issued based upon a course of conduct that occurs over time. The time frame does not have to be long. Harassing phone calls, texts, emails or other communications that occur even over a short period of time are sufficient if the victim can show:

  • The conduct would have caused significant emotional distress to a reasonable person
  • The conduct caused significant emotional distress to the victim

The party seeking the restraining order must prove these elements by clear and convincing evidence for the restraining order to stand. At The Rodriguez Law Group, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers have handled hundreds of cases involving restraining orders. We know how to build the strongest possible case and are ready to go to work for you.

What is a Civil Harassment Restraining Order?

A civil harassment restraining order is an order issued to provide protection for someone who is not a spouse, romantic partner, or member of your household. In order to get a restraining order, the person has to be able to show that you pose some type of serious threat or annoyance.

Civil harassment restraining orders can be issued against:

  • Roommates
  • Neighbors
  • Friends
  • Family members who are more than two degrees removed, including aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews
  • Anyone with whom you do not share a close relationship

Certain groups of people cannot be subject to a civil harassment restraining order and instead must use the domestic violence restraining order process to get protection. Those groups include:

  • Spouses or former spouses
  • Dating partners or former dating partners
  • Close relatives, including parents, children, grandparents, and siblings
  • In-laws

In most cases, a temporary restraining order has already been issued by the time you receive any notice. It’s important to contact a defense attorney who can go to work quickly to defend your rights. Our restraining order lawyers know the law inside and out and are committed to building the strongest possible defense for you.

Civil Harassment Restraining Orders Can Impose Serious Restrictions

In Los Angeles, a civil harassment restraining order can limit your rights in a number of ways. If the restraining order is granted, the judge can require a restrained person to:

  • Stop all communications with the person who has requested the order
  • Avoid coming into contact with that person, whether in public places, work, school or their home
  • Give up you right to own a firearm
  • Stop all communications with the person’s family and household members
  • Avoid contact with the person’s family and household members

The consequences of a civil harassment restraining order can be serious and lasting. It can even have a serious impact on family law proceedings – including disputes over custody. Having an experienced defense lawyer in your corner can greatly increase your chances of a successful resolution.

Penalties for Violating a Los Angeles Civil Harassment Restraining Order

Violating a civil harassment restraining order is a misdemeanor-level crime in Los Angeles. If convicted under California Code Section 273.6, you can be subject to:

  • Up to $1,000 in fines, and/or
  • Up to one year in jail

However, if someone was hurt because of the violation, the penalties are increased to:

  • A maximum $2,000 fine, and
  • Between 30 days and one year in jail

Both the restraining order itself and any violation will appear on your record. That means employers, landlords and even immigration officials will see that you have a restraining order against you. Even having a misdemeanor on your record can make it more difficult to find work or a place to live. For non-U.S. citizens, the order can jeopardize your immigration status.

Building a Strong Defense Against a Civil Harassment Restraining Order Violation

It is important to have an experienced defense attorney by your side if you are accused of violating a civil harassment restraining order. You have a very limited time to prepare a solid defense against the order. At The Rodriguez Law Group, we work closely with you to build a defense that is custom-tailored to your specific case.

Examples of defense strategies that might work in your case include:

  • You did not intend to violate the restraining order
  • You did not know about the restraining order
  • You did not understand the restraining order terms
  • The terms of the restraining order were unreasonable, or the order was improperly issued

Our lawyers will go to work immediately to prepare a response to the petition to extend the temporary restraining order against you. Call our legal team to get the help you need today.

Time is Limited for Fighting a Los Angeles Civil Harassment Restraining Order

The judge is required to schedule a hearing to decide whether to extend a temporary civil harassment restraining order within 21 days of the initial order. Under California law, the court has discretion to extend that time period to 25 days if good cause exists.

This is an extremely limited time frame. Having an experienced defense attorney by your side gives you the best chance of successfully challenging your accuser’s grounds for the civil harassment restraining order.

Contact Our Experienced Los Angeles Civil Harassment Restraining Order Attorney Today

When the stakes are high, you need an experienced defense lawyer by your side to protect your rights. Our lawyers review your case for free. If successful, we may even be able to recover attorneys’ fees and court costs from your accuser.

To get help protecting your rights, call our Los Angeles civil harassment restraining order attorneys at The Rodriguez Law Group today. You can also fill out our free case evaluation form to tell us what happened.