Your Domestic Violence Solicitors should be Expert Criminal Solicitors
In the context of the Criminal Law in South Australia, the term ‘Domestic Violence’ does not refer to an offence that stands alone. Rather, domestic violence refers to a range of criminal offences where the alleged offender and victim are either in, or were formerly in, a spousal or domestic partnership relationship. The existence or former existence of such a relationship between the parties is an aggravating feature which increases the maximum penalties for the criminal offence. Hence it is important to use experienced criminal lawyers as your domestic violence solicitors.
A spousal relationship exists where the parties are legally married.
A domestic partnership exists where the parties have either lived together continuously for a period of 3 years, or for 3 years of a 4-year period or if a child has been born to the parties.
Examples where domestic violence is an aggravating feature include:-
- Maximum penalty for basic offence 10 years
- Maximum penalty for aggravated offence 12 years
- Maximum penalty for basic offence 3 years
- Maximum penalty for aggravated offence 5 years
- Maximum penalty for basic offence 2 years
- Maximum penalty for aggravated offence 3 years
- Maximum penalty for basic offence 5 years
- Maximum penalty for aggravated offence 7 years
In addition to the criminal law in South Australia, domestic violence is also a term referred to in the context of Intervention Orders pursuant to the Intervention Order (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009.
Under South Australian Law, a person may apply to the Court or Police for the issuance of an interim Intervention Order in circumstances where it is deemed on the balance of probabilities that, in the absence of an Intervention Order, the defendant will commit an act of abuse against the protected person.
An act of abuse is not limited to physical injury and can include any/all of the following:-
- Physical injury;
- Emotional or psychological harm;
- Unreasonable and non-consensual denial of financial, social or personal autonomy;
- Damage to property in the ownership or possession of the person or used or otherwise enjoyed by the person.
Once issued, an Interim Intervention Order has immediate effect which remains in place until it is either confirmed by a Court as a Final Order or successfully contested and revoked. Once confirmed, the Intervention Order will remain in place indefinitely or until it is either varied or revoked. An application to vary or revoke an Intervention Order can be made either by a police officer, the protected person, or the defendant.
A defendant cannot apply to vary or revoke an Intervention Order until the period prescribed on the Order has lapsed or if no period is prescribed, 12 months from the date the Intervention Order was issued.
The conditions of an Intervention Order are varied depending on the circumstances of the alleged abuse. Some of the more common conditions include:-
- A requirement that the defendant attend and participate in domestic violence programs;
- Restrictions on contact between the defendant and protected person such as limiting how the parties can communicate with each other; and
- Restrictions on the ability of the defendant to attend certain locations such as the protected person’s place of residence or work or where the protected person regularly attends.
In addition to the above, it is mandatory for all Interim Intervention Orders to require that the defendant’s firearms licence be suspended and any firearms in their possession be surrendered. It is also common for the firearms conditions to be included in a Final Intervention Order; however, in certain cases an application can be made to have it removed.
It is important to note that an Intervention Order is not strictly a criminal law matter and one can be implemented even in circumstances where no criminal charges are forthcoming. However, breaching a condition of an Intervention Order is a criminal offence and carries penalties ranging from a fine up to 2 years imprisonment.
A breach of an Intervention Order can also impact on a defendant’s eligibility for bail. If a defendant is taken into custody for an alleged breach of Intervention Order which involves physical violence or the threat of physical violence, the usual presumption in favour of bail is reversed and the defendant will not get bail unless they are able to establish special circumstances to justify their release.
Seek Expert Advice
At Williams our domestic violence solicitors have a wide range of knowledge and expertise in dealing with breach of intervention orders and criminal matters with related domestic violence. We will provide you with expert representation whether you are:
- seeking an intervention order;
- you have been charged with a domestic violence related offence or;
- you have had an intervention order served upon you.
As one of the best criminal defence lawyers in Adelaide our firm will provide you with quality advice and representation in criminal matters that may be higher penalties due to domestic violence.
Call us. We can help.
Williams domestic violence solicitors 08 84519040