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What is an Intervention Order?

You might have heard of intervention orders, or you might have heard of them by different names – AVO’s, DVO’s or restraining orders. What you might not know is that they can have long lasting effects not only regarding the restriction of your movements, but also with respect to care and contact with your children. They might even force you to be removed from your home.

An intervention order can prevent you from having contact with the protected person either directly or indirectly whether by phone, email or through a third party. It can also prevent you from being within a certain proximity of locations that the person(s) may frequent such as their home, workplace or your child’s school.

When can I be served with an Intervention Order?

Commonly, Intervention Orders accompany a criminal charge such as an assault against a partner or family member, however, police can also issue an Intervention Order without laying a criminal charge. An application can also be made privately with the Court without police involvement. Intervention Orders can be issued for a wide range of reasons and are not limited to those included in or removed from a romantic relationship.

What happens once I’m Served with an Intervention Order?

Once the Intervention Order has been served upon you, it is in force even in its interim stage. The matter will then be heard in Court. The Court can make the order if it reasonably suspects that the defendant will, without intervention, commit an act of abuse against a person.

An act of abuse is defined as an act resulting in one or any of the following:

  • Physical injury, or
  • Emotional or psychological harm (including mental illness, nervous shock, distress, anxiety or fear that is more than trivial) or
  • Unreasonable denial of financial autonomy, or
  • Damage to a person’s property.

The Court must also be satisfied that in all of the circumstances it is appropriate to make the order.

Once the order is made by the Court, it remains in force forever. An application to vary or revoke the Order can be made by the defendant after 12 months.

What happens once I’m Served with an Intervention Order?

Once the Intervention Order has been served upon you, it is in force even in its interim stage. The matter will then be heard in Court. The Court can make the order if it reasonably suspects that the defendant will, without intervention, commit an act of abuse against a person.

An act of abuse is defined as an act resulting in one or any of the following:

  • Physical injury, or
  • Emotional or psychological harm (including mental illness, nervous shock, distress, anxiety or fear that is more than trivial) or
  • Unreasonable denial of financial autonomy, or
  • Damage to a person’s property.

The Court must also be satisfied that in all of the circumstances it is appropriate to make the order.

Once the order is made by the Court, it remains in force forever. An application to vary or revoke the Order can be made by the defendant after 12 months.

What happens if I breach the Intervention Order?

The consequences for breaching an Intervention Order can be severe, with a first breach of the order punishable by a maximum 2 years imprisonment and/or $10,000 fine and any subsequent breach punishable by a maximum 4 years imprisonment and/or $20,000 fine. It is important to remember that the defendant bears the responsibility of complying with the terms of the order and cannot be given permission by the protected person to breach any term of the Order.

Intervention Orders made in South Australia are now nationally recognized. That means that even if you are in another State and you breach the Order, you can be prosecuted under that state’s laws.

Do I need a lawyer?

If you have been served with an Intervention Order, it is important that you secure legal representation. Engaging a lawyer will ensure the swift and timely resolution of your matter. If you do not wish to contest the order, legal representation will assist in negotiating the terms of the order to better suit you. However, if you do wish to contest the matter, it is important to understand that there are limits on how an unrepresented defendant can conduct a trial. By engaging a lawyer, your matter can be presented without these hurdles.

At Matthew Mitchell Solicitors, our experienced criminal defence team can provide you with quality advice and assistance with Intervention Order matters from the moment it is served upon you. If you’ve been served with an intervention order, contact us on 8344 5589

lawyer couple
lawyer couple
Do I need a lawyer?

If you have been served with an Intervention Order, it is important that you secure legal representation. Engaging a lawyer will ensure the swift and timely resolution of your matter. If you do not wish to contest the order, legal representation will assist in negotiating the terms of the order to better suit you. However, if you do wish to contest the matter, it is important to understand that there are limits on how an unrepresented defendant can conduct a trial. By engaging a lawyer, your matter can be presented without these hurdles.

At Matthew Mitchell Solicitors, our experienced criminal defence team can provide you with quality advice and assistance with Intervention Order matters from the moment it is served upon you. If you’ve been served with an intervention order, contact us on 8344 5589

Speak to us today, your first phone consultation is free.