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Breach Of Intervention Order Lawyers in Melbourne - Restraining Order Defence

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Intervention order lawyers in Melbourne

If you've been charged with violating an intervention order, whether it be a Family Violence Intervention Order or Personal Safety Intervention Order, you need expert legal advice. Breaching an intervention order is quite a serious criminal charge and can impact your career, family and every other aspect of your life down the line.

An intervention order lawyer from our criminal law team will be able to assist you throughout your case, from the interview to the first hearing date and the final verdict. To make sure you get the best outcome, choose an expert criminal lawyer.

Have you breached your Family Violence Intervention Order or any other intervention order? Get in touch with our criminal defence lawyers in Melbourne.

Need legal advice now? Call 03 8590 8370 to book a free consultation with our lawyers.

What is a breach of intervention order?

A breach of intervention order includes any violation of the clauses contained in an intervention order you are the respondent to.

There are two main types of Victoria intervention orders issued by the Court, designed to protect people from physical or mental harm: Personal Safety Intervention Orders and Family Violence Intervention Orders. These are outlined in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 and the Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010.

You may also be subject to interim orders or safety notices, which are temporary orders put in place to prevent violence until a final order can be given.

Family Violence Intervention Order

A Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) ensures that a protected person and any affected family member are safe from acts of domestic violence and family violence. It prohibits the respondent from:

  • Committing family violence (physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, and economic abuse)
  • Damaging the person’s property or threatening to damage their property
  • Following or surveilling the person
  • Contacting the person in person, online or by any other means
  • Publishing or distributing any material about the person
  • Going to places where the person lives, works, studies or attends childcare
  • Recruiting another person to violate the order

A protected person can also apply for additional conditions for their FVIO, including:

  • Returning personal property or jointly owned property needed for the protected person’s everyday life
  • Respondents to hand in any weapons to police and suspend/cancel any firearms authority or weapons approval/exemption
  • Altering or suspending a parenting order
  • Any other conditions that will help the protected person and affected family members feel safer
  • Applying the conditions of the intervention order to relevant associates of respondents

Personal Safety Intervention Order

A Personal Safety Intervention Order (PSIO) is similar to an FVIO and is used when the parties are unrelated. That is, the respondent is neither a family member nor a former partner, though they may be a friend, neighbour or colleague.

This order is designed to protect any affected person who has experienced assault, sexual assault, property damage/interference, threats, stalking and cyberstalking, harassment, and surveillance. The order outlines several conditions:

  • Respondents cannot commit prohibited behaviour against protected persons
  • They cannot approach the protected person, the protected person’s house, or contact them in any way
  • Suspension/cancellation of any firearms licences

Interim Intervention Order

In certain cases, if immediate protection is required, the local Magistrates Court can grant interim intervention orders. This interim order will last until both parties can attend court and settle their case, a process that can take several months and involves many hearings: mention hearing, directions hearing, contested hearing and more. If the Magistrate assesses that family violence has occurred, and is likely to occur again without intervention, they may grant a final intervention order.

Family Violence Safety Notice

A police officer may issue a notice that will not allow the respondent to commit family violence until the intervention order hearing. This notice may have the same conditions as an FVIO and serves as an application for an order, as well as a court summons.

What happens if I breach an FVIO or PSIO?

Violating an intervention order can have serious consequences for your future. The maximum penalty for breaching intervention orders in Victoria, if found guilty, is as follows:

  • Breaching a Safety Notice – 2 years imprisonment, 240 penalty units or both
  • Breaching an FVIO – 2 years imprisonment, 240 penalty units or both
  • Breaching an FVIO intending to cause harm or fear for safety – 5 years imprisonment, 600 penalty units or both
  • Persistent contravention of Family Violence Safety Notice/Intervention Order – 5 years imprisonment, 600 penalty units or both
  • Breaching a PSIO – 2 years imprisonment, 240 penalty units or both

An intervention is a civil order, meaning it will not impact your criminal record. However, breaching your intervention order is considered a criminal offence.

Where will my case be heard – the Magistrates Court or County Court?

As intervention order breaches are usually considered to be summary offences, Magistrates Courts are responsible for hearing your case. However, if your charge carries a maximum penalty greater than 2 years imprisonment, it is considered an indictable offence, meaning your case will be heard in County Court.

We will support you at your court hearing to ensure you have quality legal representation for your criminal matter and that your voice is always considered during the process.

What legal defence do I have?

Though the specifics will vary from case to case, there are some common defences your lawyer may wish to explore:

  • Whether a breach of the court order did occur
  • Necessity
  • Honest and reasonable mistake of fact

An experienced criminal defence lawyer from our team will examine every angle of your case and determine the best response to the criminal charges.

Contact us

If you have been charged with violating an intervention order in Victoria, you should obtain legal advice immediately.

To book a free consultation with our family law experts, call 03 8590 8370 or use our online contact form here. Our lawyers will be happy to discuss the specifics of your case, explain the process, and determine what the next steps may look like. 

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