Intervention orders

There has been a lot of media attention in relation to domestic violence and domestic violence prevention.

The opposition Government is proposing supporting amendments to provide for paid domestic violence leave.  The Premier of NSW supports the establishment of a domestic violence register.  It was also recently reported in The Age that the Victorian Magistrates Court is trialling a mobile phone app designed to allow the victims of domestic violence to apply for an intervention order.  The trial is for the next six months and will allow people to apply for an intervention order via their smartphone, tablet or their website.

Intervention orders have changed over the years and it is important to seek legal advice from a criminal solicitor in Adelaide when you have been served with an interim intervention order or if you are having difficulties obtaining an intervention order from police.  Intervention orders are often referred to as AVO’s or restraining orders.

What is an intervention orders?

The Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 allows a court to make an order to prohibit a person (the defendant) from committing an act of abuse on a protected person and to protect any child who may be exposed to the effects of abuse committed by the defendant against the protected person.  Intervention orders can be granted in either domestic situations or non-domestic situation.  Intervention orders are often related to criminal charges but intervention orders can proceed alone.

If you have been served with an intervention order

Once you have been served with an interim intervention order it is incredibly important that you strictly comply with all conditions of the order.  If you fail to comply with the conditions you will be charged with criminal charges of contravene an intervention order.  The maximum penalty for contravening an intervention order is two years imprisonment or $1,250 fine or both.  Also if it is alleged that the contravention of the intervention order involved physical violence or the threat of physical violence you would be a prescribed applicant and there is a presumption that you will not be bailed.  You would need to demonstrate to the court that special circumstances exist justifying your release.

It is incredibly important to seek legal advice immediately after you receive an interim intervention order.  Often you will need to seek advice about how the intervention order may effect Family Proceedings or any criminal matters that you have also been charged with.  I would strongly advise against simply confirming an intervention order without seeking legal advice.  Once confirmed intervention orders last indefinitely.  A defendant can apply to the court to vary or revoke an intervention order once 12 months have passed.

How can you get an intervention order

A protected person can attend at their local police station.  A list of police stations can be found here.  Police will make an assessment about whether you or your children are at risk of future domestic violence.  If they deem that you are, then they can issue a police issued interim intervention order.  Police issued interim intervention orders may also be served on a defendant when police are called out at an incident.

If police deem that you or your children are not at risk, you may instead attend at your local Magistrates Court.  A list of Courts can be found here.  This can be a difficult and daunting process for someone who is not familiar with court processes.  Please feel free to contact someone from our office to discuss obtaining a private intervention order.

Please note this blog was written in South Australia and relate to the laws in this state at the time of publishing.

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