Both New South Wales and Queensland law allow for people in certain types of relationships to obtain restrictive orders against others when prescribed preconditions are met.
In New South Wales these orders are called Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO), and in Queensland they are called Domestic Violence Orders (DVO).
Domestic Violence Order Or Apprehended Violence Order Applications
For any respondent, these applications can prove to have consequences as serious as a criminal charge. For example, it is not uncommon for the party seeking an order to want the respondent to be forced out of the family home or prohibited from contacting children resulting from the relationship.
And a court confronted with such an application to make that type of order can make it on a temporary basis without even hearing from the respondent. And it might then take as long as six months before the respondent can oppose such an order at hearing.
So, in that situation where would you live? And how would you cope without your children?
Notoriously these types of orders are pursued by a party involved in a property settlement or child custody proceeding in the Family Court. Unscrupulous lawyers will encourage their clients to seek one in order to support, for example, an application for sole custody of the children of the relationship in the Family Court. The allegation will be that the respondent has been domestically violent in front of the children, and corroboration for that is that an application for a domestic violent order was pursued.
At Mark Savic Legal we have seen these and other misuses of such applications and are quite prepared to deal with them. An immediate and comprehensive response to any such application has proven to be the most effective remedy. There is no room for complacently allowing your grievances to be aired for the first time in a final hearing.
One of the primary difficulties experienced in Queensland is that police are often the instigators of the application, on behalf of an aggrieved. This often occurs when police are called out to an argument which has been overheard by neighbours, or police are called by someone in the heat of the moment. In this situation, it is the police, not the aggrieved, who controls whether the matter proceeds or not. It is our experience that police will not withdraw their applications once proceedings are commenced. In fact, we are aware of internal directions within the Police Prosecutions Corps to this effect. This means that respondents to these police applications are left with two options: consent to an order being made on a without admissions basis for five years or contest the matter at a hearing.
Through experience and careful preparation in these sorts of matters, Mark Savic Legal has had many police applications dismissed by the court at the hearing.
Breaches Of Domestic Violence Or Apprehended Violence Orders
In fact, the law in relation to bail for domestic violence matters has recently been altered to make charges involving certain elements of alleged domestic violence offences which disentitle the defendant to a grant of bail. That very fact alone means that matters like this should not be handled by family lawyers, but by a competent and experienced criminal lawyer because only a criminal lawyer will have had any experience at all with bail applications.
In both States, periods of actual imprisonment are now routinely imposed for breaches of these orders or offending involving an allegation of domestic violence. In New South Wales, section 14(4) of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 states that if you are charged with breaching an Apprehended Violence Order and you are alleged to have used violence when breaching that order, imprisonment must be imposed – regardless of whether or not it’s your first time before the courts.
When faced with this, the approach at Mark Savic Legal is to assiduously look for the feature of the case that pulls it into that category. That may be evidence the victim had been violent previously toward the offender, or that the violence alleged cannot be made out on the evidence, or that significant remedial steps have been taken already by the offender. This careful examination of the case differentiates Mark Savic Legal from competitors and maximises a client’s prospects of avoiding custody.
Speak to an experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer today.
Don’t delay, you need to speak with an experienced criminal lawyer regarding domestic violence matters as soon as possible to protect your rights.
If you are dealing with a DVO issue in Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Maclean, Grafton, Yamba, Northern NSW, The Gold Coast or Brisbane, contact Mark Savic Legal today to discuss your options.