Domestic Family Violence Lawyers
Melbourne Domestic Violence Lawyers
Domestic violence or family violence is a particular category of criminal offending and often involves allegations of threats and assault against a current or former partner.
Victoria takes cases involving domestic and family violence very seriously, which is why engaging the legal advice of a domestic violence lawyer in Melbourne is crucial. Family violence offending attracts significant sentences including lengthy terms of imprisonment.
Family violence cases are also given priority by the Courts, which means that cases involving allegations of domestic and family violence move quickly through the Court system. Further to that, when you are charged with such an offence, the police almost always make an application for an intervention order against you. Intervention orders prohibit you from doing certain things, including committing family violence; contacting the complainant; or going to a specific address. Intervention orders can be complex and confusing. Breaching an intervention order is a criminal offence.
It is therefore important to engage the services of a family violence lawyer as soon as you can after having been accused of or charged with a family violence offence so that we can assist you with both the criminal charges and the intervention order.
Because of the nature of the relationship between accused person and complainant, and the way that family violence is dealt with by the Court, success is dependent on making strategic decisions as soon as an allegation is made.
At Stary Norton Halphen, our criminal lawyers in Melbourne are well equipped to handle allegations of family violence. We are here to give you an understanding and a voice in a situation.
We have a great deal of experience in cases involving violent offences, including domestic violence, enabling our family violence lawyers to provide you with decisive advice and a comprehensive understanding of whether or not you have a viable defence, the strength of that defence, the costs of running your case, the legal implications of the decisions you make and the potential penalties you face in the event you are found or plead guilty.
If you’ve been charged with a case involving violence committed against a family member or partner and need a domestic violence lawyer, call Stary Norton Halphen on 1800 449 550 during office hours or 0407 410 821 after hours.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic and family violence is classified as a harmful behaviour directed towards a partner or family member used to injure, threaten, or coerce that person and can include any behaviour that makes that person fear for their physical safety and/or the wellbeing of their property or the physical safety and/or the wellbeing of another person.
The definition of family violence includes physical assault, such as hitting or attacking another person with a weapon; molestation; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; psychological abuse; economic abuse; coercion; controlling or dominating behaviour causing a person to fear for their wellbeing or the wellbeing of another person; and/or damaging property owned by another or even jointly owned by you and another person.
It is also important to be aware that family violence includes conduct that causes a child to hear or witness, or otherwise be exposed to the effects of one of the aforementioned types of family violence. As a result, when it is alleged that a child has witnessed family violence, they will be included in an intervention order, even if the alleged offending behaviour was not directed at them. The primary piece of legislation setting out the circumstances when an intervention order may be applied for and granted as well as outlining certain types of family violence offences such as breaching an intervention order is the Family Violence Protection Act 2008.
A very broad range of offences can be considered family violence offending, depending on the relationship between the accused and complainant. For example, if you are alleged to have assaulted your ex-partner, this will be considered family violence offending.
When to contact a family violence lawyer?
As family violence and domestic violences cases are taken so seriously, it is critically important to contact a family violence lawyer immediately if you have been questioned or charged in relation to family violence.
When you are accused of family violence you will almost always be facing the prospect of being charged with a criminal offence and an application for an intervention order. Accordingly, it is imperative your family violence lawyer has experience and expertise in dealing with both issues, as how you deal with one matter will often have an impact on the other.
Our team of criminal lawyers is committed to understanding the particular details of your case so as to ensure you understand your options, whether or not you have a defence, how strong that defence is and what the best possible outcome in your case is likely to be. We are here to guide you throughout the course of your matter and are well equipped to advise you about the likelihood of achieving a successful outcome if you contest your matter. Our domestic and family violence lawyers will also advise on whether it is possible to negotiate a resolution to a less serious charge and the steps to take to increase the likelihood of receiving a lighter penalty in the event you decide to plead guilty.
Am I Likely to Go to Jail?
All violent crimes are treated seriously by the courts and can and do carry significant sentences if you are found guilty. Cases involving violence against a family member or partner are viewed particularly dimly by the courts such that harsh penalties are imposed regularly, even to first time offenders. The likelihood of jail will depend on the individual circumstances of your case but make no mistake it is often a very real possibility when you are accused of family or domestic violence such that it is critical to engage a domestic violence lawyer to help you prepare your case.
Some of the important matters Stary Norton Halphen’s lawyers will be able to help you understand include:
- Whether you have a defence and your prospects of successfully running that defence.
- When you have been charged with multiple offences and are amenable to pleading guilty to an offence, which charge you should consider offering to plead guilty to and the reasons as to why it is beneficial to you to take that course.
- How serious the charges you are facing are and the range of penalties you may receive in the event you plead guilty to a charge or a number of charges.
- If you do decide to plead guilty, the types of plea material you should obtain and the rehabilitative courses in which you can engage to give you the best opportunity to receive the lightest penalty possible.
- What impact contesting a charge will have on the application for an intervention order which you are facing?
- What impact pleading guilty to a charge will have on the application for an intervention order which you are facing?
- Whether the conditions of the intervention order you are facing can be negotiated to, as the case may be, allow you to return to the family home and/or see your children.
Intervention Orders are court orders which restrict a person’s access to and interaction with another person or group of people. They are also known as Personal Safety Orders, Restraining Orders, Apprehended Violence Orders, Family Violence Orders and Domestic Violence Orders. They are routinely issued in cases involving allegations of domestic and family violence.
As experienced family and domestic violence lawyers, Stary Norton Halphen’s criminal law professionals routinely deal with cases involving different types of intervention orders. We have many years of experience defending and applying for intervention orders on our clients’ behalf and are here to provide you with the best possible advice when dealing with intervention orders.
For more information, please visit our dedicated Intervention Orders section.
Need a Family Violence Lawyer?
At Stary Norton Halphen, we’re experienced with family violence cases and understand the sensitivities often involved with such matters.
If you are facing charges related to domestic or family violence and wish to seek legal representation from family violence lawyers in Melbourne, get in touch with Stary Norton Halphen by calling us on 1800 449 550 or through our online enquiry form. For After Hours enquiries, please call 0407 410 821.
You have a voice.
Make it heard
Send A Message
Advice from a competent and experienced criminal lawyer before you are interviewed can and often does have a meaningful impact on the outcome of your case and in some instances, is the difference between whether your matter proceeds to court or not.