Criminal Matters & Intervention Orders

For many people, dealing with the Police because of criminal charges and/or Intervention Orders is a foreign subject. It can quickly become overwhelming and that is even before you may need to appear before the courts, especially if the Police wish to interview you.

We can assist you to ensure that you always understand your options and are placed in the best position possible to address criminal matters and charges without unnecessary stress.

We advise and represent clients across many areas of Criminal Law including:

  • Traffic/Driving Offences.
  • Drug Offences.
  • Pleas for summary and indictable offences.
  • Bail Applications.

If you need assistance, please feel free to contact us for a confidential discussion today.

What do I need to know?

Listed below are a selection of the main questions that in our experience, clients initially want to know, before they decide which lawyers they want to contact, let alone not only when they contact us. This content does not constitute advice and you should contact us if you wish to obtain specific advice about your matter. We are always updating our blog post so please feel free to also check out those materials.

I’ve been charged with Traffic/Driving Offences, can you help me?

There is a wide array of charges under the ROAD SAFETY ACT 1986. Some common examples include drink driving, driving whilst suspended, drug driving and speeding. If you are charged with any of these offences, you may be subjected to losing your license. Many of our clients rely on their license for their livelihoods and to support their families so we know how important it is that you can the best result possible.

We can help you to avoid losing your licence (when possible) or at worst, aim to ensure that any loss is only subjected to the minimum period.

If you are a repeat offender having been found guilty of these example offences, the risk of jail can begin to become a very real option to the Court, so it is important that you engage a lawyer to help you to try to avoid this outcome.

Bail Applications

When the Police charge with offences, depending upon their seriousness, they may release you that day on an undertaking of bail before you leave the station. Most of the time, this is usually a promise by you to attend Court at the next listing of your charges. If you don’t attend, the Court can issue a warrant for your arrest. There may also be other conditions such as not attending certain establishments or contacting certain people.

If your charges are serious though, you may be remanded in custody until your charges are heard by the Court. This does not necessarily mean though that you will have to stay in remand until your case is heard as you may have grounds to make a bail application.

In Victoria, there are now several tests under the Bail Act which govern whether the Court should grant bail. They include Unacceptable Risk, Show Compelling Reasons and Exceptional Circumstances. The applicable test(s) depends on the type of charges you are faced with (and sometimes the number) and you should bear in mind that the tests can sometimes become intermingled. The Court will also assess factors relevant to your charges and circumstances which may or may not mitigate the risk of granting bail.

With the unprecedented delays caused by Covid-19 to the Victorian justice system, a failure to make a bail application could see you, a friend or family member held in remand for an extended period. We have helped many clients achieve favorable bail applications and are confident we can help you achieve a similar outcome.

I want to plead guilty to my charges and get on with my life, but I need help?

When you have been charged by the Police, you may need to attend Court depending on whether your charge(s) is a summary offence (you may attend) or an indictable offence (you must attend).

Either way, it is natural that you will want to get the best result possible but you’re probably nervous and have no idea how you’re going to do this? That is where we come in, as experienced advocates with a proven track record of helping our client’s get in and out of the legal system as quickly as possible.

We’ll help to provide you with the necessary strategy and preparation works if you wish to plead guilty to your charges. This may also include negotiating with the Police to “roll-up” multiple charges or to remove some charges.

Choosing the right lawyer to do this for you is critical. It is important to make sure that they view your matter as important by putting proper time and resources into helping you. We guarantee that you will get that from us.

Family Violence and Intervention Orders

We also assist many clients in relation to family violence issues which include intervention order applications. Intervention Order Applications are usually filed by either Police on behalf of persons to protect them or by by members of the public to protect themselves from another person/s. For instance, a client may require an order against a former partner to protect themselves and their children from family violence which has occurred, and there is a risk that may continue.

Similarly, we appear for parties who need to respond to Intervention Order Applications made against them by their former spouse, which can have devastating consequences for a Respondent to an Intervention Order Application such as preventing them from contacting their children.

We advise and represent people across many areas of Intervention Orders and Criminal Matters including:

  • Intervention Order Applications or Responses.
  • Breach of Intervention Order Offences.

If you need assistance, please feel free to contact us for a confidential discussion today.

What is Family Violence?

When our clients tell us what they understand Family violence to be, they almost immediately defer to a partner physically harming their spouse and/or children. Whilst that is definitely a form of Family Violence there are also many other forms, including those which are silent and designed to control another person by using different forms of manipulation.

According to section 5 the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 Vic, Family Violence is behavior by a person towards a family member that:

  • is physically or sexually abusive; or
  • is emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
  • is economically abusive; or
  • is threatening or coercive; or
  • in any other way controls or dominates the family member and causes them to fear for their safety; or
  • behavior by a person that causes a child to be exposed to the effects of the above.

Do I need a lawyer to help me with my Intervention Order proceeding?

If the Police have filed an Intervention Order Application on your behalf as a Protected Person, they will usually conduct the Application on your behalf.

In circumstances where you have filed an Intervention Order Application yourself with the Court or you’re the Respondent to an Application, it will always be in your best interests to engage the services of a lawyer to help you.

Intervention Order Applications can be inherently complex due to a variety of mitigating circumstances including the involvement of children, workplaces and where you can and can’t reside.

It also means that you don’t have to undertake any negotiations as we do all the talking for you, including appearing before the Magistrate. We know from experience just how stressful and upsetting these types of Applications can be for everyone involved.

If there’s an Interim or Final Intervention Order made in my proceeding, what might some of the conditions be?

There are several very common conditions contained in Intervention Orders including as follows:

  • Not to commit Family Violence against the protected person (refer to back to the definition of Family Violence above according to the act).
  • Not to damage property owned by a protected person
  • Not to attend within say 200m of their home or work address
  • Not to be within 5m of a protected person
  • Not to communicate with them by any means (phone, email, Facebook, Instagram)
  • Not to publish on the internet anything about a protected person
  • Not to approach, telephone or otherwise contact a protected person, unless in the company of a police officer or a specified person.

The above list is not exhaustive, and Intervention Order are flexible by nature. 

Breach of an Intervention Order

Respondents breaching Intervention Orders has unfortunately become very common because of a hard-line approach taken not only by Police, but also legislators.

Examples of breaches we see include extreme persistent breaching which has amounted to stalking, right down to things which seem relatively innocent such as watching a protected persons Instagram story or posting a picture of children on social media. 

It is important to know that whilst an Intervention Order Application is itself a civil proceeding, breaching an Intervention Order is a criminal act. There are serious consequences which may affect your criminal record. The maximum penalty for breaching an Intervention Order is Level 7 imprisonment (2 years maximum) or a Level 7 fine (240 penalty units maximum) or both.

If you are charged by the Police or are requested by the Police to attend your local station to be interviewed, it is important that you engage your lawyer for advice without delay.

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