What is an Intervention Order?

Intervention Orders, also known as Personal Safety Orders, Restraining Orders, Apprehended Violence Orders, Family Violence Orders and Domestic Violence Orders are court orders which prohibit a person’s access to and interaction with another person or group of people.

When you are accused of an assault or threatening violence, particularly in a domestic or neighbourhood setting, the police investigating the matter will almost always apply for an intervention order on behalf of the person you are accused of assaulting or threatening.

Intervention orders can also be applied for by the person you are accused of assaulting and can be put in place against you where a Court finds, on the balance of probabilities, that you have assaulted or threatened someone and there is an ongoing threat to the safety of that person.


What Does an Intervention Order Do?

An intervention order will prohibit you from engaging in a number of activities and behaviours. While an intervention order itself is only a civil order, the consequences of breaching an intervention order can result in you being charged with a criminal offence, the penalties for which include immediate imprisonment. It is therefore important that you are aware of your rights and how to defend yourself when an order is applied for against you.


How Do I defend myself against an Intervention Order Application?

When you are the subject of an intervention order application, it is important to be aware of and carefully consider what options are available to you, particularly if there is a chance you will be charged with an offence of violence as a result of the allegation which has led to the application for an Intervention Order.

The potential impact of an intervention order court hearing on a criminal investigation and/or a criminal prosecution against you is something you must consider in order to protect and defend yourself strategically.

At Tony Hannebery Lawyers, we are experienced at dealing with these issues and will assist you in defending yourself in a way that gives you the best opportunity to achieve the best possible outcome, whether you are facing an application for an intervention order, criminal charges, or both.


Should I Apply For An Intervention Order?

As stated above, intervention orders are often sought by the police on behalf of a person who is the alleged victim of a criminal offence such as an assault. However, a person can apply for an intervention order on their own behalf when they are the victim of an offence, multiple offences or ongoing problematic behaviours that are prohibited under the Family Violence Protection Act (2008) or the Personal Safety Intervention Order Act (2010).

There are a number of factors to weigh up before seeking an intervention order against someone, including:

  • Is this a matter which I should report to the police who may then make an application on my behalf?
  • Is this a matter the police have not taken seriously when I have tried to report the matter to them but which I remain concerned about because I fear for my safety?
  • Do I have a lawful basis to get an intervention order against the person who I am thinking of applying for one against?
  • Will an intervention order help me solve my problem or am I better off pursuing different avenues?

Having an experienced lawyer to answer these questions and any others you may have is very important in order to ensure that if you are to make an application for an intervention order, that you are doing so in circumstances where you have an understanding of what your prospects of success are and further, whether an intervention order will help you in achieving your objectives.

Frequently asked questions

What if I can’t afford a lawyer?

You may qualify for funding through Victoria Legal Aid.

Victoria Legal Aid is a Government-funded service that provides funding for legal assistance to people who need it most.

There are strict guidelines in place to determine whether a person is eligible to receive a grant of Legal Aid assistance.

Tony Hannebery Lawyers is a member of the Summary Crime and Indictable Crime panels, and amongst Victoria Legal Aid’s preferred criminal law firms.

If you are eligible for Legal Aid, we at Tony Hannebery Lawyers can assist you.

If I’m under 18, can I go to jail?

Age of Criminal Liability in Victoria: Overview

The age of criminal liability is the age at which a person can be arrested, charged, and found guilty of a criminal offense. In Victoria, the current age is 10, but there are planned changes to raise it to 12 in 2024 and to 14 by 2027.

Children Under 10:

Children under 10 cannot be arrested, charged, or found guilty of a criminal offense in Victoria.

Acts by children under 10 that would be offences if committed by older individuals may lead to consequences like parental discipline, teacher involvement, or referral to counselling.

Children Between 10 and 14:

For children aged 10 to 14, the prosecution must establish that they understood the act was a crime and that the behavior was wrong.

The doli incapax rule, meaning incapable of evil, is a rebuttable presumption that a child under 14 is not criminally responsible.

Children Over 14:

For young people aged over 14 but under 18, charges are dealt with in the Children’s Court.

The Children’s Court follows similar procedures and rules of evidence as adult cases, but additional rules may apply, such as requiring the presence of a responsible adult.

Sentencing for Young Offenders:

Sentencing of young offenders in Victoria falls under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.

The primary goal of sentencing is the rehabilitation of the young person.

Sentencing options include good behavior bonds, fines, youth supervision orders, periods of detention, and participation in diversionary programs.

This overview outlines the age of criminal liability in Victoria and the legal processes for children under 10, those between 10 and 14, and those over 14 but under 18. Sentencing aims at rehabilitation, emphasizing the unique considerations for young offenders under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.

How long do offences stay on my record?

Should I speak to the police without representation?

Exercising Police Powers: Know Your Rights

When dealing with police questioning, it is crucial to be aware of your rights and safeguards to avoid self-incrimination.

Refusing to answer police questions generally cannot lead to legal consequences.

Rights Before Questioning:

Before questioning, police must inform you that you have the right to remain silent, and anything you say may be used as evidence.

You can contact a friend, relative, or lawyer before the interview proceeds.

Police must allow you reasonable time for these contacts and ensure privacy during discussions with your lawyer.

Duration of Detention:

If arrested, police have a reasonable time for questioning and investigations.

The concept of “reasonable time” varies based on factors like the complexity of the case and the time taken for legal consultations.

Commonwealth law has a specific time limit of four hours for investigations, excluding certain activities.

Offences Related to Answering Questions:

Giving your name and address when asked is mandatory, with a fine of about $700 for non-compliance.

Witness summons related to organized crime offenses under specific laws may require answering questions, with a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

Generally, for other police questions, exercising the right to silence by saying “no comment” is a legal right.

Decision to Participate in an Interview:

The decision to take part in a police interview involves considering the advantages and disadvantages based on the unique circumstances of each case.

Refusing to answer questions during official questioning cannot result in an unfavourable inference by the court.

Understanding your rights, such as the right to remain silent, consulting with a lawyer, and the right to privacy during legal discussions, is essential when dealing with police questioning. Legal advice is recommended for navigating individual cases effectively.


What do I do if I’ve been arrested?

What should I do straight after a car accident?

Procedure After a Minor Car Accident in Victoria:

1. At the Accident Scene:
  • Gather information from the other party, including:
    • Full name and address
    • Contact phone numbers
    • Licence and registration details
    • Insurance information
    • Vehicle make and model.
  • Document the scene:
    • Take photographs of the damage to your vehicle.
    • Capture images of the accident scene.
  • Obtain witness details and any supporting photos or videos.
2. Emergency Services and Reporting:
  • Dial 000 to request Emergency Services (Police, Ambulance, Fire) if necessary.
  • If not done at the scene, report the accident to the police or relevant public transport authority.
3. After the Accident:
  • Seek medical attention for assessment of injuries.
  • Report the accident to your insurer, providing details of parties and witnesses.
  • Make a TAC (Transport Accident Commission) Claim online or through the hospital if urgent medical treatment was received.
4. Legal Steps:
  • Seek legal advice from a road accident injury compensation lawyer in Melbourne.
  • Attend a medical assessment for an independent evaluation of injuries.
  • Submit a serious injury application.
  • If granted a serious injury certificate, enter the pre-litigation phase for settlement negotiations.
  • If no resolution at mediation, commence legal proceedings.
  • Set a hearing date for the court to determine appropriate damages.

Navigating the legal process after a car accident involves gathering information, seeking medical attention, reporting the incident to authorities and insurers, and, if necessary, pursuing legal avenues for compensation. Legal advice is essential for understanding your rights and options.

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