Domestic Violence Lawyers in Melbourne - Family Violence Solicitors
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Legal advice from expert family violence lawyers
Domestic violence is quite serious in Victorian law. As a result of community attitudes and the recommendations made by the 2015 Royal Commission into Family Violence, most Magistrates and Family Law Courts will make such cases a top priority and will be less lenient on offenders. Family violence offences can also interfere with parenting matters and other family law matters, meaning that this can make an already complex situation even more complicated.
To ensure that you get the best results, you need a team of expert family violence lawyers. With a comprehensive understanding of both family and criminal law, we will be able to ensure that you get a successful outcome. Our lawyers regularly appear in the Magistrates Court and County Court and will be able to provide assistance for any legal matter that comes our way.
We can help:
- Prepare and file your application for Family Violence Intervention Orders
- Represent you at your contested hearing
- Fight unfair intervention orders
- Represent you during your court case for domestic violence charges
Need legal advice now? Call 03 8590 8370 to book your free consultation with a domestic violence lawyers in Melbourne today!
What is domestic violence?
As outlined in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008, domestic violence covers a broad range of abuses against a partner or family member, including:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Economic abuse
- Sexual abuse
Domestic violence also involves threats, harassment, coercive control, and behaviour that makes another person fear for their wellbeing. Additionally, exposing a child to any of the aforementioned behaviours is considered family violence.
If you are an affected family member
If you need immediate help, call 000 – a police officer will be able to arrive at your family home and:
- Arrest the other person and remove them from the property
- Charge them with a criminal offence
- Search for and remove any weapons or risks
- Apply for an intervention order on your behalf
If the situation is less urgent, you can apply for a Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) yourself through the Magisrtates Court either online or in person. You will need to fill out an application and attend a meeting with the Court Registrar, who will then give you a court date and arrange for the other person to be notified.
If the other party does not consent to the order during your first hearing, you will be given an additional court date for a contested hearing. In this case, the Magistrate may give you an interim order to protect you and any children you may have. At the contested hearing, if the Magistrate is satisfied that the respondent has committed family violence and is likely to do so again, you will be given a final order that will ensure your safety.
If you are a respondent
If you are accused of committing family violence, you can be charged with any number of offences, including:
- Causing injury intentionally/recklessly
- Conduct endangering life
- Threats to kill or to inflict serious injury
- Sexual assault of a child
All violent crimes carry a potential maximum penalty of imprisonment, meaning it is vital to consult a criminal law expert. In some circumstances, you may be sentenced with a Community Corrections Order – a flexible sentence supervised by Corrections Victoria which aims to address underlying behavioural causes such as substance abuse or mental health. If you receive a Community Correction Order, you may be subject to curfews, alcohol bans, mandated treatment, rehabilitation, community work and other conditions outlined by the Court.
Along with domestic violence charges, the police or the other party may apply for a FVIO against you. You will get a chance to fight the order and tell your side of the story during the contested hearing. While it is not a criminal offence to be issued with a Family Violence Intervention Order, there are serious consequences – including hefty fines and jail time – if you are found guilty of contravention.
There are three main family violence charges:
- Section 123 – Contravention of Family Violence Intervention Order
- Section 123A – Contravention of Order Intending to Cause Harm or Fear for Safety
- Section 125A – Persistent Contravention of Notices and Orders
Our criminal lawyers are here to support you throughout your case and give you the advice you need to get the best possible outcome.