Family & Domestic Violence Charges Melbourne
Have you been charged with offences in relation to breaching a family violence intervention order? Or are you responding to or making an application at court?
If you are facing Domestic Violence charges you need to find a criminal law firm with experience in handling these types of matters. Dribbin & Brown are criminal lawyers who routinely deal with domestic violence (family violence) and intervention order applications, and we have specialist lawyers ready to help you.
Dribbin & Brown have offices at Dandenong, Ringwood, Frankston, Geelong, Ballarat, Moorabbin and in the Melbourne CBD in close proximity to the local courts. We appear regularly at these courts representing clients in relation to family violence intervention order applications.
The charges under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 are:
The Family Violence Protection Act explained
The Family Violence Protection Act 2008
Whether you are the respondent or applicant of a family violence intervention order, it is important to engage lawyers who have a firm understanding of the rules in relation to these types of hearings.
How do I get a Final Family Violence Order?
As per section 74 of the Family Violence Protection Act, in order to grant a domestic violence protection order the Magistrate must be satisfied of two things on the balance of probabilities:
How do I get an interim Family Violence Order?
Section 53 of the Family Violence Protection Act allows a person to apply to the Court for an interim order pending the outcome of any final finding of fact.
The Court must be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the interim order is necessary to:
If the police have issued a Family Violence Safety Notice in relation to the affected family member things are a bit different. Then the Court need only be satisfied per section 53(1)(c) that on the balance of probabilities there are no circumstances that would justify discontinuing the protection of the person until a final decision about the application has been made.
Before making an interim order per section 53(1B) the court must consider whether there are any children who have been exposed to family violence by the respondent. If so, they may make the child a protected person under the order if satisfied that the child’s need for protection is substantially the same as the affected family member’s.
There is a problem with applicants obtaining interim orders. If the matter cannot be negotiated when it first comes to court then it is adjourned for a contested hearing. If an interim order is put in place during that interim period, it means that the respondent is subject to the terms and conditions of a full order for the interim period.
This scenario occurs because the court cannot accommodate a contested hearing on short notice, and it is grossly unfair. Often the contested hearing will not be heard within three months of the first mention date of the order.
This can be very frustrating for respondents, particularly if there are children on the order or there is an exclusion order in relation to the marital home.
When will there be a Family Violence Safety Notice?
A police member will apply to a superior if satisfied that:
The problem with family violence safety notices is that once they are in place, a full interim order will usually follow. See above for an explanation on how this can unfairly impact respondents prior to there being a full hearing in Court.
Police powers in relation to family violence
Police have a number of powers under the Family Violence Protection Act. You can see sections 13 to 23 of the Act for further details.
Police can enter without warrant, detain suspects, arrest suspects and make a number of requests of people they reasonable suspect of committing family violence.
To determine whether police have breached the law in relation how they have treated you, it is important to get advice from an experienced lawyer.
What can be considered family violence?
Section 5 of the Act indicates that family violence can be behaviour by a person (the respondent) towards a family member that:
The act is clear that conduct that may not be criminal in nature can still constitute family violence.
Why are my children on the Family Violence Intervention Order?
The offending behaviour does not need to be directly focused on a particular family member for them to become an affected family member on an order. e.g. a child can simply witness offending behaviour towards another and be considered to require protection. It is common place for police to include children on a Family Violence Intervention Order in these circumstances.
In fact, a child or an affected family member who has only provided assistance to a family member who has been the recipient of family violence, or who has only assisted cleaning up after a family member has intentionally damaged another family member’s property, will be enough to have a protection order imposed including the children.
That said it is very important for a lawyer to consider the factual basis for including childen on an FVIO.
Running a Contested Family Violence Intervention Order hearing
There are a number of aspects that differ to usual Court procedure when running a family violence matter as a contested hearing. These can be found in the Family Violence Protection Act, as follows:
Possible conditions of final orders
The Court can impose the following conditions in relation to Family Violence Protection Intervention Orders:
How to vary or extend an existing Family Violence Protection Order
Under section 106 the Court can extend the operation of an existing order when it is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the respondent is likely to commit family violence against the protected person.