“If there is one characteristic that defines me, it is my belief in human dignity, my belief that my client's life is just as important now as it was on the day they were born.” - Michael Guisti

Tap to Call (888) 478-8999
Our Legal Team Is Standing By
Home Assault & Battery Civil Harassment

Orange County Harassment Defense Lawyer

Representing Defendants in Civil Harassment Cases

Harassment charges can result in serious ramifications for your life. Not only could you face criminal charges, including jail time and fines, but you may also have to abide by a restraining order that will severely restrict where you can go and what you can do in Orange County. It may also be a serious blow to your reputation and affect your ability to make a living. But building a strong legal defense and securing a skilled attorney could be key to protecting your freedom and clearing your name. If you have been served with a civil harassment order and you are not sure what to do, then let the OC criminal attorneys at Law Office of Michael L. Guisti help you. Schedule a consultation by calling us at (714) 530-9690 or toll-free at (888) 478-8999.

Back to Top

Harassment Charges in California

As outlined by Penal Code 646.9 PC, harassment and stalking charges refer to when a suspect follows, harasses, commits an act of violence, or threatens violence against an individual. Any one of these actions can lead to the alleged victim filing a restraining order against the accused, in addition to other criminal charges.

To successfully charge a defendant with harassment, the prosecution must demonstrate that the defendant intentionally harmed, threatened, annoyed, or terrorized a specific person with no “legitimate purpose” two or more times in a short period of time. In addition, if there is a threat of violence, the prosecution must show that it was credible or that the accused felt “reasonable fear” that the defendant could carry out the threat.

Accusations of stalking and harassment can include the following unwelcomed actions:

  • Telephone calls
  • Emails
  • Social media messages
  • Notes
  • Texts
  • Physical presence at or near an alleged victim's home or work

Furthermore, a defendant can also be charged with making criminal threats, or credible threats of violence that reasonably place the victim in fear for his or her safety or the safety of loved ones.

Charges of harassment can lead to both criminal or civil penalties, typically in the form of a restraining order. Stalking charges are taken more seriously, however, and you may face either misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the circumstances of your case.

Misdemeanor stalking charges can lead to:

  • Up to one year in a county jail
  • Summary probation and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000.

In contrast, felony stalking charges can lead to:

  • Up to five years in a California state prison
  • Formal probation and/or
  • A fine of up to $10,000.

Back to Top

What is a Civil Harassment Order?

If an individual believes they are being harassed or stalked, they may contact a California court to file for a civil harassment order (CHO) in addition to criminal charges. A CHO is an injunction designed to stop and prohibit further harassment. A CHO can be filed against a:

  • Stranger
  • Acquaintance
  • Coworker
  • Neighbor
  • Roommate
  • Friend who the plaintiff never dated
  • Distant relative

If accused by a spouse, close family member, or someone who you dated, you will likely be served a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) instead of a CHO. However, a CHO can be filed against a family member who is not directly related to the plaintiff and does not fill the DVRO requirements, such as an aunt, uncle, or cousin.

The general rules of a CHO can include:

  • Barring the accused from contacting the plaintiff
  • Barring the accused from coming within a specific radius of the plaintiff
  • Requiring the accused to remove all firearms from his or her property

This can lead to drastic changes to the accused lifestyle, especially if they work or live near the alleged victim and may accidentally violate the terms of the order.

Back to Top

Penalties for Violating a Harassment Order

If you are subject to a CHO, you are likely having a difficult time living your day-to-day life with these restrictions. It is important to always abide by the order until it expires or until your attorney can have it dismissed by the court, otherwise you may face additional penalties.

Violating a restraining order is a misdemeanor crime in California that comes with a maximum of one year in a county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, if you are charged a second time, your sentencing can advance to felony charges, which may lead to a maximum sentencing of three years in a state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. In addition, any charges of bodily harm during the violation of a restraining order can lead to a minimum of 30 days in a county jail.

Back to Top

Defenses Against Harassment Charges

Fighting a civil harassment order can be extremely difficult without proper representation, which is why it is imperative that you contact the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti to discuss your case. Our lead attorney can evaluate your situation and build a strong defense that can lead to the order being dismissed by the court.

Your attorney can employ several defenses to ensure your rights are protected. Remember, the burden of proof is on your accuser, meaning they must demonstrate that you intentionally and knowingly committed harassment. It is possible you may have been seen around the area where an alleged victim lives or works, but he or she must be able to concretely link you to messages and/or actions of harassment. Your attorney can formulate a defense documented by telephone, email, social media, and internal computer records, as well as surveillance footage and witness statements, to demonstrate that you were not at the location the accused said you were.

If you are faced with charges of violating a CHO, your attorney may also build a defense arguing that you:

  • Did not intend to violate the order and accidentally came into contact with the accused, such as at a local business or public event
  • Were not aware that a CHO had been filed against you or that the CHO had been extended
  • Were falsely accused and there is no evidence to support the claims against you

Defending against a CHO or getting one dismissed is not impossible, but you must act now to get the best legal defense in Orange County.

Back to Top

Accused of Civil Harassment?

Being accused of stalking and harassment not only limits where you can go, but it also has a major social stigma. The Law Office of Michael L. Guisti has the necessary experience and skills to fight for you and your rights. Do not give up on your reputation or your life. Call us at (714) 530-9690 now to secure the legal aid of a knowledgeable OC defense attorney.

Back to Top

Additional Information

Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

(714) 530-9690

Payment options available:

Payment options available:

Client Reviews

“It was strongly recommended that I call federal defense attorney Michael L. Guisti. He had several investigators look at records and such, and my federal case was dismissed. Michael Guisti does what few attorneys can do, beat the federal government, and that is why if you’re in trouble with the government you need to call Michael Guisti right away!”

- G.O. on


“I had everything to lose, my future, my education. Basically I did something that got me a misdemeanor, and the judge wanted to give a guilty plea. But Michael Guisti would not back down. Instead he fought for me, and now my record is clean.”

- Client on


“Back in 2003 I was facing attempted murder. My family hired Michael Guisti to represent me. He is a very good attorney. He always answered my calls, addressed my questions and concerns, and kept me updated about my case. Thank you Michael Guisti for winning my case. I highly recommend anyone facing a criminal charge to see Michael Guisti.”

- J.D. on


Case Results

sex crimes

Case Dropped

Young man charged and arrested for sexual battery.


Case Dropped

Man charged with assault with a deadly weapon for hitting someone in the face with a heavy metal dust pan.

drug crimes

Served Less Than 30 Days in Jail

Young man charged with selling 1000 tabs of ecstasy to undercover officer.

Attempted Murder

Reduced to Assault With Deadly Weapon

Young man knocks the eye out his victim with a metal pipe. Charged with attempted murder and aggravated mayhem. Both cases carried life sentences.

Assault & Battery

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Woman arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon using scissors on a co-worker.

Vehicular Assault

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Man charged with three felony counts of vehicular assault with a deadly weapon.


Read Our Important Announcement About COVID-19

Dear valued clients, due to the COVID-19 virus and out of respect for the community, our office is offering our services remotely via phone and video. Please call or email us through our web contact form and we would be happy to discuss your case. Watch Michael L. Guisti's COVID-19 Public Service Announcement.

Schedule My Consultation

OC Harassment Defense Attorney Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Law Office of Michael L. Guisti.