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Intervention Orders in Victoria (VIC)

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Australian National Character Check (ANCC) makes every effort to provide updated and accurate information to its customers. However due to the continuously changing nature of legislations for the Commonwealth and various States and Territories, it is inevitable that some information may not be up to date. The information on the website is general information only. The contents on the website do not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, suitability, accuracy or availability with respect to the information.

Under the Family Violence Protection Act of 2008,the court can impose Intervention orders to an accused person where the accuser fears for their life. The Intervention orders protect a person who has a reasonable cause to fear for their lives or rights, especially from another person.

The intervention orders contain specific conditions that the accused person must satisfy (if they are found guilty of the charge). However, a person cannot be convicted with an intervention order.

The intervention order is a nationwide matter across Australia albeit with different names. In Victoria, there are a lot of names of the intervention order including;

  1. Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO)
  2. Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIO)
  3. Restraining Orders
  4. Domestic Violence Orders
  5. Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO)
  6. Intervention Violence Orders (IVO)

The law courts in Victoria refer to intervention orders as either (1) or (2) above.

Who orders an Intervention Order?

Anyone can apply to the Magistrate in Victoria for an intervention order, depending on the charge and the degree of apprehension. However, it is easier if a person apply with their lawyer or with a Police official or involvements

If the Magistrate finds an urgent and reasonable source of apprehension for the applicant against another party, it will impose an intervention order.

If there is an urgent need for protection or a source of danger, the court can impose an interim order. These orders remain valid till the court can make a final order on the matter.

Who can apply for an Intervention Order?

  1. A person can apply for an intervention order; FVIO or PSIO if they suspect a threat to their life or property. The applicant does not need to inform or contact the accused before asking the court for an intervention order.

Yet, where the applicant thinks the threat is imminent, they can apply for an interim order against the other party.

  1. The Police

Under the Family Violence Protection Act of 2008, the Police may apply for an intervention order against an aggressive party. However, there must be evidence that a person needs protection before applying for an intervention order on their behalf.

The Police may even apply for an intervention order without the (accuser's) consent if they believe it is appropriate for the person.

  1. Parents or guardians

Especially in cases where the candidate is a minor, their guardian/parents can make the Intervention Order application on their behalf.

What are the effects of an intervention order on the applicant?

Intervention orders help the applicant to continue their life without fear of the “accused”. The accused person gets;

  • Court warnings
  • Court orders and restrictions like;
  • Avoiding a specific persons/areas
  • Withdrawal or disqualification of firearms licenses
  • Keeping off certain distances around an area

If you have suffered/suffer any of them from a person, you can apply to the court for an intervention order;

The person;

  • Harasses you
  • Behaved offensively and threateningly
  • Assaulted or attempted to assault you
  • Damaged or showed notorious behaviours toward damaging your property
  • Caused you to fear or engaged in an action that caused you to be apprehensive
  • Emotionally or mentally abused you

What is the difference in the intervention orders?

Depending on the relationship between the parties, the court will order either a (PSIO) or an (FVIO).

The Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) refers to all domestic violence and related situations where the parties have some form of relationship. Some examples of cases where the court may order an FVIO include;

  • Dispute between partners
  • Violent attempts involving siblings
  • And other complex forms of relationship

A personal Safety Intervention Order (PSIO)

The court will impose such orders on the offending party with little to no relationship with the other party. Such involves cases between neighbours, workers or other individuals.

Does an intervention Order show on a police check?

The Intervention order is neither a conviction nor a finding of guilt. It contains conditions the accused party must adhere to.

However, contravening or refusing the orders of an Intervention order may result in a conviction and prosecution of the offence. These convictions usually come with penalties involving fines and imprisonment terms. A contravention of an international order in Victoria will in most circumstances show up on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Victoria.

If you do not understand or are incapable of completing the conditions of an intervention order, discuss it with the Parole or Community officer.

What is a breach of an Intervention Order?

While an intervention Order is not an offence or punishment, breaching a condition or all of them is a serious offence.

Sections 123 (Original), 125A (Repeat offenders) and newer sections 37A and 123A stipulate the offences that constitute a breach of the Intervention Order.

For a general contravention of the Intervention Order, the prosecution must prove that;

  1. The defendant was under a family violence intervention order;
  2. That the order was served, or its effect explained to them; and
  3. That the defendant contravened the order.

Offences of general contravention to an intervention order in Victoria carries maximum penalties of;

  • 240 penalty units in fines ($37,310)
  • Imprisonment term of 2 years.

Some example of these offences is;

  • Physical or mental attacks against the protected person
  • Sending death threats via texts
  • Using emotional or physical blackmail through pictures against protected persons

Penalties of breach under section 37A and 123A and Repeat offenders (s125A)

If the court finds you of a breach under the following sections, it will order penalties reaching;

  • 600 penalty units ($93,2756)
  • And/or
  • 5 years imprisonment

What to do if served a court notice for an intervention order?

You must contact an experienced lawyer and appear for the hearing on the date agreed. Your fate is decided by deep knowledge and interpretation of the law.

Also, the court will consider lots of circumstances and actions between the party before imposing an order.

You may apply to the court through your lawyers to extend the time before you defend in court. It can help your counsel prepare a better defense.

What happens if I don’t turn up for my Hearing?

The Magistrate will only make a final order when it is satisfied with all evidence and arguments. The magistrate will also make a final order when;

  • All parties agree to the final order,
  • The respondent did not oppose the order; turn up for the summons.

If you miss your hearing without a "permitted" excuse, you risk getting imposed with stricter conditions in the orders.

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