How to File Harassment Charges: Ultimate Guide (2024) 

Sarhan Basem
credit: chwilliamslaw.

Brussels (Brussels Morning Newspaper)    If you are being harassed, then you must decide to get the best legal protection. It is important to file harassment charges as this will help you to punish the person harassing you. The type of relationship between you and the person harassing you will determine the type of legal protection you can ask for.

What Is Harassment?

Harassment is defined as “a course of conduct that annoys, threatens, or puts a person in danger. Harassment is unwanted, and an uninvited behavior. It threatens and offends the victim, and could result in a hostile environment.

Harassing behavior is not limited to, epithets or derogatory comments. It can also result in assault and other serious issues. It could also involve offensive touching and any kind of physical interference in any kind of environment. Visual insults, like derogatory posters or cartoons, can also be considered harassment.

How To File Harassment Charges?

If you are a victim of harassment, then you must file harassment charges against the harasser. It is important to stand up for yourself and give yourself the best life. Here is how you can file harassment charges:

1.Gather Evidence

The first step is to find evidence against the harasser. You must gather evidence in the form of a video or text to proceed with your case further. If you feel frightened, intimidated, or harassed then it can be tricky to prove it. 

This is why you must gather evidence that can help you to prove your point. It is a great idea to record the calls where you can make it clear that the behavior of the person is troubling you. If their harassment is having deleterious effects, then you can keep the written communication that can reveal their intend.

2. Restraining Order

It is best to consider filing a restraining order. This is essential in situations that involve domestic violence. A restraining order can result in criminal punishment. You can go to court and ask for a form that includes all your information. You can submit the order to the court and supply them with some evidence. It is important to ensure that the form is filled out properly.

The court can call you and the harasser to court for a hearing. You can get a restraining order until the evidence is assessed. If you are looking to get a permanent restraining order, then you must hire an attorney to assist if the case is getting too complicated.

3. File A Harassment Order

You can call the police to file a Harassment Order. The police will visit the harasser. There are no fees or charges to file a harassment order. The judge will order the respondent to pay any court costs.

4. File Charges With The Help Of A Prosecutor

The police will get in touch with a prosecutor. Prosecutors have the final say and they can help you with filing charges. Generally speaking, a victim is not allowed to press charges and cannot force the unwilling prosecutor to file charges.

The prosecutors have the right of ‘prosecutorial discretion’ and have the final say. Prosecutors are attorneys that are employed by the federal, and state. They are responsible to prosecute suspected criminal offenders.

Prosecutors can decline to press charges. You should provide evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt without any reasonable doubt to press charges. If your prosecutor refuses to press, then you can use the “writ of mandamus.” A private person can see the writ and can ask for the court to perform the duty.

Read More: Is Catcalling Sexual Harassment (Ways To Deal With It)

5. Press Charges

If your prosecutor considers your case and thinks that conviction is possible, then the harasser will be asked to come to court. Your prosecutor will press charges depending on the allegations, and the facts regarding them. Your harassment case can be filed as a Misdemeanor or as a Felony.

Municipal and District courts are given the charge to handle the Gross Misdemeanor Harassment charges. Harassment charges can also be set on a Felony level and are later handled in Superior Court. Before deciding the charges, the courts take into consideration various factors. These factors include the previous charges of the defendant.

The perpetrator becomes the defendant and you require an attorney to handle your case. If they don’t plead guilty, then you will have to attest for yourself in court. If you have not hired an attorney to date, then you will have to do so to press charges. In most cases, your attorney will provide you with the help you are looking for.

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Brussels Morning is a daily online newspaper based in Belgium. BM publishes unique and independent coverage on international and European affairs. With a Europe-wide perspective, BM covers policies and politics of the EU, significant Member State developments, and looks at the international agenda with a European perspective.
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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.