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Domestic Violence

A Domestic Violence Order (DVO) or Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) may have significant consequences and may in some circumstances force a respondent out of the family home and prevent that person from seeing and contacting the children of the relationship. For most, this is a traumatic and challenging experience. Regretfully, these Orders are being granted all too readily and this can tear families apart. There are a number of ways to deal with these Orders and it is therefore essential that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible. In some instances, we may be able to resolve the matter by way of an Undertaking or have the Order dismissed altogether. Once an Order has been made against a respondent, it is a criminal offence for that person to contravene the Order and this will consequently result in a criminal charge.

I have been served with a Domestic Violence Order. Now what?

If someone has lodged an application for a domestic violence order (DVO) against you, you will be called ‘the respondent’ on the application. The application will be served by a police officer and will include the allegations made against you by the aggrieved (person who will be protected by the order). It will also contact a date and time that you need to go to court. It is important that you seek legal advice immediately. If you fail to appear in Court when you are required to, the court can make a final protection order or temporary protection order against you in your absence. Alternatively, a Magistrate may also issue a Warrant for your arrest. The Police will then have the power to arrest you and compel to you appear in Court.

What happens at Court?

At your first court mention, the Magistrate will ask the Respondent how they wish to proceed with the Application. A respondent can do the following:

  1. Seek an Adjournment for the purposes of obtaining legal advice: You will then be given a new court date;
  2. Consent without admissions: Essentially you can agree with the order being in place without making any admissions to the content of the application. Sometimes if you consent, you may be able to vary the conditions of the Order.
  3. Disagree with the content of the application and oppose an order being made. The matter will then be set down for a hearing where the Magistrate will hear evidence and witnesses will be called.

If you need help in relation to a Domestic Violence matter, call Sophie Dagg now to secure an initial consult.

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