Road Traffic Offences

Intervention Orders: What are they and how do they work?

The TGB Criminal Law Team discusses the intricacies of Intervention Orders and the ways in which they can be challenged or removed with the assistance of a lawyer.

The TGB Criminal Law Team outline the intricacies of Intervention Orders and the ways in which they can be challenged or removed with the assistance of a lawyer.

Following an altercation or argument with a domestic partner, neighbour, colleague or any other individual you may find yourself served with an Intervention Order (formerly known as a restraining order).

Being served with an Intervention Order can be a very stressful and worrisome experience.

It is vital to understand just what an Intervention Order entails, how they come about and what options you have should you be served with an Order.

An Intervention Order can arise from a wide range of altercations that do not necessarily involve violence. For an Intervention Order to be issued, the police or Court need to be satisfied that you will, without intervention, commit an act of abuse against someone.

The definition of ‘abuse’ is broad and can include physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or economic abuse. The result of this abuse also has a broad interpretation and can include physical injury, emotional or psychological harm, unreasonable denial of money or personal autonomy and damage to property.

Intervention Orders are being served in increasing numbers. There is no doubt that they can be very restricting.

An Intervention Order is always specific to an individual and can include a restriction on the minimum distance you must maintain from an individual or property, a restriction on your ability to contact an individual and a restriction on what you can post on social media about an individual.

Not only can an Intervention Order be issued to protect a person who has experienced an act of abuse but it can also be issued to protect a child who may hear or witness an act of abuse being committed against someone else. This can cause difficulties in family situations when a parent finds him or herself in a situation where they cannot have contact with their children.

In addition, an Intervention Order can require you to take part in a program to address any temper or violence issues.

If you receive an Intervention Order, you will be given a date in the future when you must attend court.  At Court, you must indicate to the Magistrate whether you wish to accept or contest the Intervention Order. If you wish to contest the Order, then you will need to be able to rebut or challenge the allegations made by the other person that you have committed an act against them or will commit an act of abuse in the future. A lawyer will be able to assist you in challenging the allegations made against you.

If you accept the order, or the court enforces it, a 12 month timer will start. After that time, you can apply to have the Intervention Order revoked.  The ‘protected person’ is entitled to apply to the Court to revoke the Intervention Order at any time.

The terms of the Intervention Order commence the moment that you are served with the Order and they remain on foot until the Order is revoked by the Court.

Intervention Orders are difficult matters and require legal advice to explain the terms of the order. A breach of an Intervention Order can result in your arrest and if found guilty you can then be imprisoned for a maximum of two years. For that reason it is imperative that you understand the details of the Intervention Order in order to ensure that you do not breach the Order.

If you have been served with an Intervention Order it is crucial to seek legal advice regardless of whether you wish to accept or challenge the Order.

For advice contact your nearest TGB office.