Intervention Order Lawyers

Intervention Orders:

Conviction for a Breach of
Intervention Order

Will I Get A Conviction If I Breach An Intervention Order?

An Intervention Order, whether it be on an Interim or Final Basis, has implications for a Respondent if it is breached. It is important to understand that the conditions of an Intervention Order apply Australia wide; Respondent should ensure strict compliance to avoid being charged with a criminal offence. 

What is the process of a breach?

In order for a breach to be alleged, the Affected Family Member, or another person needs to make a report to Victoria Police. This report can be made by calling 000, directly calling a police station or attending a police station to make a statement or lodge a complaint. Additionally, organisations such as schools or Child Protection can make complaints on behalf of Affected Family Members (Or Protected Persons) when they believe a breach of an Intervention Order has occurred. Once a complaint is received by Victoria Police, it is then investigated and an assessment is made as to whether the Respondent will be charged with a criminal offence. Victoria Police in their investigation may choose to take statements from witnesses involved, review phone records, review email correspondence or text messages. One of the final stages of an investigation usually involves interviewing the Respondent (or person being charged) and putting the allegations of the breach to them. Remember, in a police interview, you have a right to silence and should always seek legal advice before attending at a police station. 

How does a breach offence proceed To court?

When a person is charged with a breach of an intervention order, they will receive a Brief of Evidence from the Police Informant (the investigating officer). A brief of evidence are the materials that the Police rely upon to demonstrate that a person is guilty of an offence and generally includes a) a summary of the offence, b) a statement from the complainant, c) the specific details of the charges and relevant legislation, d) any photos relevant to the case and e) the prior criminal history of the person charged. If you have received a brief of evidence, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you receive advice prior to the first Court date (which is usually listed within the documentation). On your first Court date, called a Mention, you will have the opportunity to discuss the matter with the Police Prosecutor as to how your matter will progress. At this stage, it is recommended that you have representation from a lawyer.

What is a conviction?

A conviction is a formal declaration of your guilty by an Australian Court which is then recorded as part of your criminal history. This occurs when you have been charged with a criminal offence and either plead guilty, or are found to be guilty by a Magistrate, Judge or jury. It is not essential that every finding of guilt results in a conviction, as it is up to the discretion of the Magistrate or Judge to determine whether a conviction should form part of the sentence given by the Court. Whether or not a conviction is to be included within the sentence, will depend of the nature and seriousness of the offence. If the offending is minor and not serious, it is open for the Court to decide that a conviction should not be recorded. Additionally, if the Defendant is of good character, taken steps to address the behaviour that led to the offence and are not likely to offend again, the Court may determine that a sentence without a conviction is satisfactory. Other factors will also be taken into consideration such as your current and future employment, requirement to travel overseas and impact that the conviction would have upon the Defendant’s life. 

The Next Step

If you would like advice in relation to intervention orders, contact us on (03) 8391 8411 to book a free 30-minute consultation with us to discuss what steps you should take next.

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