As specialist criminal lawyers who routinely deal with cases of domestic violence and assault, Stary Norton Halphen has, over the years, built up a significant amount of experience in defending and applying for intervention orders in Victoria on behalf of our clients.
Our knowledgeable staff of legal professionals will provide you with guidance and advice when dealing with intervention orders, whether they arise out of family violence or in the context of personal safety, ensuring you are kept informed and receive the best possible outcome.
If you are struggling with a legal issue involving an intervention order or you have been charged with breaching an intervention order in Victoria, call Stary Norton Halphen at any of our Victorian offices, including our City Office on (03) 8622 8200. You can also reach us through our online enquiry form at any time or for after hours enquiries on 0407 410 821.
An intervention order (IVO) is a court order which prohibits a person from, amongst other things, communicating with or having contact with another person or group of people.
When you are accused of an assault or threatening violence, particularly in a domestic or neighbourhood setting, the police investigating the matter will almost always apply for an IVO on behalf of the person you are accused of assaulting or threatening.
An IVO can also be applied for by the person you are accused of assaulting and can be put in place against you where a court finds, on the balance of probabilities, that you have assaulted or threatened someone and there is an ongoing threat to the safety of that person.
An intervention order is a civil order, such that having an IVO made against you will not appear on your criminal record. However, breaching a condition of an IVO in place against you is a criminal offence for which you can be charged.
Intervention Orders are also known as Personal Safety Intervention Orders, Family Violence Intervention Orders, Restraining Orders, Apprehended Violence Orders, and Domestic Violence Orders.
There are two types of intervention orders in Victoria:
A Family Violence Intervention Order - an intervention order against a family member, partner or ex-partner; and
A Personal Safety Intervention Order - an intervention order against someone who is not a family member (e.g. a neighbour or a work colleague).
An intervention order will prohibit a person from engaging in a number of activities and behaviours. While an intervention order itself is only a civil order, the consequences of breaching it can result in a person being charged with a criminal offence, the penalties for which include immediate imprisonment. It is therefore important that you are aware of your rights and how to defend yourself when an order is applied for against you.
When you are the subject of an intervention order application, it is important to be aware of and carefully consider what options are available to you, particularly if there is a chance you will be charged with an offence as a result of the allegation which has led to the application for an intervention order. The potential impact of giving evidence in an intervention order court hearing on a criminal investigation and/or a criminal prosecution against you is something you must also consider.
At Stary Norton Halphen, we are experienced at dealing with these issues and will assist you in defending yourself in a way that gives you the best opportunity to achieve the best possible outcome, whether you are facing an application for an intervention order, criminal charges, or both.
Intervention orders are often sought by the police on behalf of a person who is the alleged victim of a criminal offence such as an assault. However, a person can apply for an intervention order on their own behalf when they are the victim of an offence, multiple offences or ongoing problematic behaviours that are prohibited under the Family Violence Protection Act (2008) or the Personal Safety Intervention Order Act (2010).
There are a number of factors to weigh up before seeking an intervention order against someone, including:
Is this a matter which I should report to the police who may then make an application on my behalf?
Is this a matter the police have not taken seriously when I have tried to report the matter to them but which I remain concerned about because I fear for my safety>
Do I have a lawful basis to get an intervention order against the person who I am thinking of applying for one against?
Will an intervention order help me solve my problem or am I better off pursuing different avenues?
Having an experienced IVO lawyer to answer these questions and any others you may have is very important in order to ensure that if you are to make an application for an intervention order, that you are doing so in circumstances where you have an understanding of what your prospects of success are and further, whether an intervention order will help you in achieving your objectives.
If you are applying for a personal safety intervention order, you need to contact your nearest Magistrates Court in Victoria and make an appointment to apply for the intervention order. Prior to attending you need to complete a form.
When applying for a family violence intervention order, you do not need to go to court, you can lodge an application for the IVO online. If you are unable to lodge it online you can contact your nearest court and apply over the phone.
Police can also apply for an intervention order on behalf of a person. This will happen when the police receive a complaint or are called out to an alleged incident. Police can apply for an IVO, whether or not a person they are seeking to protect wants the intervention order to be made.
The maximum penalty for breaching an IVO in Victoria on one occasion is two years imprisonment. Should you breach an intervention order on multiple occasions within 28 days you are likely to be charged with persistently breaching an IVO. The maximum penalty for this offence is five years imprisonment.
Obviously, there are a variety of circumstances in which these offences can occur ranging from sending a person a text message in breach of a condition of their IVO to severely assaulting a person in breach of a condition of their IVO. Despite the maximum penalties it is therefore the case that less serious or moderately serious examples of breaching an IVO or persistently breaching an IVO may be dealt with by way of a good behaviour bond, a fine or a community corrections order. In some instances such penalties will be imposed without conviction.
If you are charged with breaching an intervention order in Victoria it is crucial to contact your IVO lawyer as soon as possible.
Your IVO lawyer will help you negotiate the best possible resolution, understand the range of potential outcomes you face, prepare your matter for court and finally appear on your behalf at court.
Getting the right legal assistance will give you the best chance of receiving the best possible outcome.
Should you decide that applying for an intervention order is the appropriate thing to do having regard to issues you are facing, or you need to defend yourself against an intervention order in Victoria, or you have been charged with breaching an intervention order you can call Stary Norton Halphen during business hours at any of our six offices, including our City Office on (03) 8622 8200. You can also reach us at any time through our online enquiry form or on 0407 410 821 for after hours enquiries.
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.
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Doyle's Guide First Tier Criminal Law firm (2020, 2021 and 2022).