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Breaching an Intervention Order

Intervention Orders are specific court orders sought by either an individual or by Victoria Police on behalf of an individual, when there is an allegation of violence.

A Magistrate may impose either:

  • A Personal Safety Intervention Order – ordered where there is no family relationship between you and the Applicant;[1] or
  • A Family Violence Intervention Order – ordered where there is either a past or current family relationship between you and the applicant.[2]

A Magistrate can impose two types of Intervention Orders:

  • Interim Order – short-term/temporary Order usually imposed where the Court is satisfied that a person requires immediate protection.  Interim Orders can be made without notification to yourself and without you being present at Court and have the same effect as a Final Order once served upon you.  An Interim Order usually remains in place until the Court decides whether to make a Final Order.
  • Final Order – longer-term Order imposed where the Court is satisfied that you have committed family violence and is likely to do so again.  The Court can also make a Final Order if both parties consent to the Order being made; or if you fail to attend Court at a contested hearing.

Notification

You will be notified that an Intervention Order application has been made against you either via post or delivered directly by the Police. The Notice must state the type of Intervention Order and allegations against you relating to the Order. The Order may be accompanied by a Summons, which is an Order to appear in Court on a specific date. Often these applications follow alongside relevant criminal charges.

Contesting an Intervention Order

You can argue against the application for an Intervention Order and/or the conditions by attending the Court hearing. However, it is imperative to seek legal advice as soon as you are aware an application for an Intervention Order has been made.

You will need to prove to the Magistrate that:

  1. You do not pose a risk to the Applicant; and/or
  2. The claims made by the Applicant are false or incorrect.

Breaching an Intervention Order

You must comply with the conditions of an Intervention Order whether it is an Interim or Final Order. It is not a criminal offence to have an Intervention Order made against you, but it is a criminal offence to breach the conditions of an Intervention Order.

To establish a Breach of an Intervention Order charge, the Police must prove that:

  • You had previously been served with a copy of the Intervention Order, or that you received an adequate explanation of the conditions of the Order during a Court hearing;[3] and
  • Breached the conditions of the Intervention Order.[4]

Defending a Breach of an Intervention Order charge

Some defences available to you in relation to a breach of an Intervention Order charge, include:

  • You were unaware an Intervention Order was in place against you;
  • Honest and reasonable belief that you had not breached an Intervention Order;
  • Another person other than yourself was responsible for the conduct (e.g. mistaken identity);or
  • Deny that your conduct did not actually breach the conditions of the Intervention Order.[5]

These examples are not exhaustive.

It is imperative to seek legal advice as soon as practicable if you have been charged with breaching an Intervention Order.

Possible Penalties

Breaching an Intervention Order carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment.[6] However, where a single breach of Intervention Order charge is listed and it is a first offence, the Court is unlikely to Order the maximum period of imprisonment.  Depending on the individual circumstances, there are a range of penalties available to the Court, including:

  • Imprisonment;
  • Community Corrections Order;
  • Fine;
  • Adjourned Undertaking;
  • Discharge; or
  • Dismissal.

It is imperative that you seek legal advice as soon as practicable if you have been charged with breaching an Intervention Order.

If you have been charged with breaching an Intervention Order then contact Leanne Warren today to discuss your defence. First 30 minute consultation is free of charge: 03 9670 6066 / info@leannewarren.com.au

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[1] Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic).
[2] Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic).
[3] Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) s 57(1), 96(1); Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic) s 76.
[4] Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) s 123.
[5] Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)s 37(3).
[6] Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)s 123(2); Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 (Vic) s 100(2).

Views expressed in this article are not necessarily endorsed by Leanne Warren and Associates.

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