Criminal Defense in Orange County

What is a Civil Harassment Restraining Order?

A Civil Harassment Restraining order (CHO) is a type of legal protective order issued by California courts to protect an individual from physical harm or harassment. Unlike domestic violence restraining orders, CHOs are not restricted to domestic partners such as spouses, parents, etc. In fact, Civil Harassment Restraining Orders can be filed against co-workers, neighbors, acquaintances, and strangers.

A CHO prohibits the restrained party from contacting the victim or coming within a certain distance of the victim's home, workplace, or school. Violating a Civil Harassment Restraining Order can lead to serious legal complications, including stalking charges.

Understanding Civil Harassment
Civil harassment occurs when a stranger allegedly commits the following offense against a victim:

  • Assault / Battery
  • Threats of Violence
  • Sexual Assault
  • Threats of Abuse
  • Stalking

A CHO is only appropriate when the defendant is unacquainted with the alleged offender. If the threatening individual knows the victim, domestic violence restraining order is required.

Defense Against Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

A restraining order can have a serious influence on your life. If someone claims that you committed harassment or abuse, a CHO could keep you from going certain places (the victim's workplace, etc.) or contacting the alleged victim in any way.

Additionally, a CHO carries a social stigma that can damage your reputation, work relationships, and more. There are a variety of ways to defend yourself against a Civil Harassment Restraining Order:

  • You did not Commit the offense
  • The victim's allegation is not true
  • The victim misinterpreted your actions

CHOs can protect people from real threats, but they can be used as inappropriately too. The victim might exaggerate your actions to "get back" at you or hurt you reputation. He / she could also misinterpret your actions as a threat when they are actually harmless.

If someone filed an unfair restraining order against you, contact a defense attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, we are committed to helping people avoid unwarranted restraining orders in Orange County, CA. Contact our office to see what we can do for your case.