Injunctions Against Harassment

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Injunction Against Harassment Arizona

Experienced Phoenix Injunction Against Harassment Defense Lawyer

If you are facing an injunction against harassment in Arizona, understanding your rights and the legal processes involved is crucial. At Belén Law Firm, our experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to providing the guidance and representation you need during these challenging situations. 

Whether you are facing harassment charges or are seeking to defend yourself against such an injunction, our skilled legal team is here to help you every step of the way. Call (602) 715-0908 or complete our online intake form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced harassment defense attorney today.

Injunction Against Harassment Arizona

Arizona Harassment Laws

Arizona’s harassment laws are designed to protect individuals from a wide range of unwanted behaviors that can cause emotional distress and fear. According to ARS § 13-2921, harassment is defined as any type of conduct that is directed at a specific person, serves no legitimate purpose, and would cause any reasonable person to be seriously “alarmed, annoyed, humiliated, or mentally distressed.”  

Harassment can include repeatedly contacting or following someone, making threatening or obscene communications, or causing a person to fear for their safety. It can also occur through various means, including in-person interactions, phone calls, text messages, emails, or through social media.

More specifically, the statute outlines the following behaviors as instances of harassment if done with the intent to alarm, annoy, humiliate, or distress:

  • Contacting or communicating with a person through verbal, electronic, mechanical, telegraphy, telephonic, or written means;
  • Continuously following a person in public after being asked to stop;
  • Watching or “surveilling” a person or causing another person to do so;
  • Making a false police report or credit/social service agency report against another person;
  • Interfering with the delivery of a public or regulated utility to another person.

The statute also highlights the harassment of a public officer or employee by means of intentionally filing a lien against them that is not backed by a court order or judgment from a court with the proper authority.

What is an Injunction Against Harassment?

An injunction against harassment is a legal order issued by a court to protect individuals from continuous unwanted contact or behavior that causes emotional distress or fear (aka harassment). This order is designed to prevent the alleged harasser from engaging in specific actions, such as contacting, following, or intimidating the victim.

The laws surrounding injunctions against harassment in Arizona can be found under ARS § 12-1809. According to the statute, the petition must include:

  • The name of the plaintiff (the person filing the petition for the injunction);
  • The name of the defendant (the person who the injunction is filed against) and, if known, their address;
  • A detailed account of the events and alleged acts constituting harassment;
  • The name of the court where there was or currently is any prior or pending proceeding or order concerning the harassment; and
  • The requested relief.

Injunction vs. Restraining Order

While they are both a type of civil order that works to legally prohibit contact from one person to another, an injunction against harassment and a restraining order (known as an order of protection in Arizona) are not one and the same. Both injunctions and protective orders are important legal measures for seeking protection in Arizona, but the key difference lies in the relationship between the parties and the nature of the alleged harassment or abuse.

An injunction against harassment can be sought for various forms of harassment that are not necessarily linked to a domestic or sexual relationship. This includes harassment from a neighbor, coworker, or even a stranger and is designed to prevent further harassment by legally prohibiting contact.

On the other hand, an Arizona order of protection specifically revolves around domestic violence situations. This may involve a former spouse, co-parent, family member, or anyone with whom the petitioner currently has or previously had an intimate, familial, or co-habitant relationship. It aims to protect individuals from things like physical harm, threats, and emotional or sexual abuse. When instances of domestic violence can be demonstrated, Arizona courts will typically issue a protective order that stays in affect for one year, but it can be renewed depending on the circumstances.  

Arizona Injunction Against Harassment

Grounds for Injunction

In order to obtain an injunction against harassment, the petitioner must demonstrate a pattern of behavior by the defendant that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses them. This pattern must be more than a single incident and something that any reasonable person would find seriously distressing. 

Examples include repeated unwanted contact, stalking, threats, or any actions that cause emotional distress or fear for the petitioner’s safety. The petitioner must provide sufficient evidence of this pattern to the court to obtain the injunction, showing that the harassment is ongoing and has a significant negative impact on their well-being. 

If the court finds reasonable evidence that the defendant harassed the plaintiff during the year before the petition was filed, or if there is good cause to believe that great or irreparable harm would result to the plaintiff if the injunction is not granted, the court may move forward with issuing an injunction.

How Does an Injunction Work?

To obtain an injunction against harassment, the petitioner must file a request with an Arizona court judicial officer, which can be a justice court, municipal court, or superior court judge. The petitioner will need to provide evidence of a pattern of harassment that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses them without serving a legitimate purpose. The judicial officer will then review the evidence and determine whether to issue the injunction.

Once an injunction against harassment is granted, the defendant will be served with the injunction. Any violation of its terms can result in legal consequences. For example, the defendant may not:

  • Continue one or more acts of harassment, whether in person or through written or electronic contact;
  • Initiate contact with the petitioner (or any other specifically designated persons);
  • Come near the home, job, or school of the petitioner (or any other specifically designated locations).

An injunction against harassment typically lasts for one year from the date it is served. This one-year period applies unless the court finds compelling reasons to modify or terminate it earlier.

Arizona Law Enforcement Standby

In Arizona, standby is a provision related to injunctions against harassment and orders of protection that allows either or both the petitioner and the defendant to request the presence of a law enforcement officer while they collect necessary personal belongings from a shared residence. The presence of the officer is meant to ensure the safety of the petitioner and prevent any potential escalation of harassment or violence.

However, it is important to note that neither law enforcement nor the injunction itself can resolve conflicts regarding ownership issues and is simply a means to maintain order during the retrieval process. 

Can You Appeal an Injunction?

If the defendant disagrees with the injunction, they can file a written request for a further hearing. The injunction hearing must be held within ten days of the request. During this hearing, both parties can present their case, and the court will determine if there are compelling reasons to either uphold or dismiss the injunction.

What Happens at an Injunction Hearing?

An injunction hearing involves both the petitioner and the defendant presenting their cases before a judge. During these judicial proceedings, the petitioner will provide evidence to support their claim, while the defendant and their attorney will present arguments against the evidence offered to counter these claims.

As your Phoenix criminal defense attorney, Belén Olmedo Guerra will advocate strongly on your behalf, ensuring that all procedural requirements are met and that your rights are protected throughout. She will also cross-examine the petitioner and any witnesses they bring, challenge the validity and relevance of the evidence, and highlight any deficiencies or inconsistencies in the petitioner’s case. 

The judge will evaluate all the evidence and arguments presented during the hearing before making a decision on whether to grant or “quash” (deny) the injunction.

Arizona Injunction Against Harassment Defense Attorney

Does an Injunction Against Harassment Go on Your Record?

In Arizona, injunctions against harassment do not go on your criminal record, but it can still be accessed through public court records. As such, if an injunction is granted against you, it may appear in certain civil background checks and can be considered in future legal proceedings or employment situations where public records are reviewed.

Violating an injunction, on the other hand, is a criminal offense and can result in criminal charges, which would then appear on your permanent criminal record.

What Happens if You Violate an Injunction Against Harassment?

Just as it would a protection order, violating the terms of an injunction against harassment in Arizona carries serious legal consequences. If you violate an injunction, the petitioner may take legal recourse and report the incident to law enforcement. If law enforcement officers have probable cause to believe the violation occurred, they can and likely will arrest you and formally charge you with aggravated harassment.

Aggravated harassment in Arizona is considered a Class 6 felony for a first offense, with the charges and penalties escalating with any subsequent offenses .

How To Fight an Injunction Against Harassment

Once an injunction hearing decision is granted, only a judge has the authority to quash or modify it. That’s why, to successfully fight an Arizona injunction against harassment, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to represent you during your hearing.

At the Belén Law Firm, our Phoenix injunction defense attorneys can help you prepare a strong defense and present compelling arguments and evidence to challenge the petitioner’s claims and persuade the court to deny the injunction. 

Phoenix Injunction Attorney

Call an Experienced Phoenix Injunction Attorney at Belén Law Firm Today

If you are facing allegations of harassment or are seeking to defend against an injunction for alleged harassment in Arizona, don’t face the legal process alone. Attorney Belén Olmedo Guerro and her legal team offer aggressive representation to protect your rights and interests and fight for the best possible resolution of your case.

Your future is too important to leave to chance. Contact our experienced injunction against harassment defense attorneys at Belén Law Firm today for dedicated advocacy and support. Simply call (602) 715-0908 or complete our online contact form to schedule your free initial consultation.

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