Family Violence Intervention Orders — Personal Safety Intervention Orders — Family Violence Protection Act 2008 — Personal Safety Intervention Orders Act 2010 — Mens’ and Womens’ Lawyer

As a result of a domestic dispute, oftentimes not that serious, a party to a relationship may call the police. If the police believe an intervention order is warranted they can apply to the Court for an intervention order even though neither of the parties to the relationship consent to this.

The police can make an interim application to the Magistrates’ Court in the absence of parties. Oftentimes an interim intervention order is made and a court date is then set down shortly into the future.

The police will serve a copy of the interim intervention order on the party who is the respondent, usually a man, letting him know he is to attend court on the date set down by the court.

An intervention order can have many and varied conditions, but one big problem is the condition which prohibits one of the parties from returning to the joint residence.

At this point the party who has been ordered from the house is given about five minutes to get out. He is left with no money, no food, nowhere to live and can wind up living in a cheap motel. If he contacts his partner the police can charge him with breaching the intervention order.

There is no counselling provided and the party who is the Respondent can find himself in a depressed and difficult situation. I understand these problems and take pride in the fact that I can help my clients deal with the biggest crisis in their life.

On the hearing date the police can be the applicant and the female affected family member is only a witness. The police do not have to agree to withdraw the application for an intervention order even though the female family member does not consent to it to going ahead.

Further, the female family member is often represented by a legal service free of charge whereas the affected male partner needs to make his own legal arrangements.

Applications to revoke an Intervention Order or vary the conditions of an Intervention Order

Oftentimes the wife wants the Intervention Order to be cancelled. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. If the original applicant was the police rather than the wife, the police may not agree.

I have found they can be very obstinate and continue with the view that the Intervention Order is necessary. Oftentimes I’ve been able to have some of the conditions removed so that the parties can get together, but not at the family home. This allows the parties to go out for dinner, movies, parks, and is a forerunner to having the Intervention Order removed entirely.

Overview

The trouble with agreeing to an intervention order can be the ramifications later on. Contacting the partner when the intervention order prohibits this can lead the police to press criminal charges which are now being viewed very seriously by the courts.

If you have problems relating to an intervention order, you should contact Brendan Wilkinson.

Brendan Wilkinson

Level 4 116 Hardware St

Melbourne VIC 3000

9670 1987 0438 670 198

brendanwilkinson@bigpond.com

Police Station Interviews

When the police conduct an investigation, they will eventually need to speak to the suspect.

This can be arranged in a number of ways:-

1. Attend at the suspect’s residential or work address and request the suspect to come to the police station for an interview

If the suspect refuses to attend by arrangement, the police usually have the right to arrest the suspect.

At the police station, the suspect will be given the opportunity to ring family and a lawyer. However, at this point, it is often difficult to get in contact with a lawyer and nearly impossible to arrange for the lawyer to come down to the police station. If a suspect is concerned that the police might arrive without notice, it is not a bad idea to see a lawyer first.

2. Ring the suspect and request the suspect to attend at the police station with or without a lawyer at the suspect’s discretion

Whatever way the suspect arrives at the police station, the police can request the suspect to remain there for a reasonable time to conduct inquiries and an interview.

The suspect will be entered into the Victorian computer system so that if the suspect’s family or lawyer rings police headquarters, it can be determined whether or not the suspect is currently in a police station in Victoria.

The Interview

The suspect will be taken to an interview room.

The interview will eventually commence and these days, it is common for the interview to be recorded in an audio-video format. This means that at the end of the interview, the suspect will be given a DVD which can be taken home and give to his or her lawyers in due course.

If the suspect is charged, this DVD will be played to the court and in a jury trial, to the jury.

Accordingly, what the suspect says in an interview of this kind is potentially a cornerstone of the police case and the defence case.

It is very important to understand that this interview can make or break a suspect if the suspect should be charged.

If the interview is properly approached, it might mean that the suspect is never be charged.

It must be remembered that when a police officer investigates a case, it is the officer’s duty to find out all sides of the story. Often times when a suspect refuses to answer any questions, it makes the suspect his own worse enemy.

Sometimes by saying nothing, it allows the police a one-sided version of the police case.

It is also of importance to note that if the suspect is charged and wins the case at court, costs may not be awarded if the suspect gave a ‘no comment’ record of interview.

However, in certain cases it is very important to make a ‘no comment’ record of interview.
These are all matters of degree and need the expertise of a lawyer to assist.

A point of interest here is that if a record of interview is in a ‘no comment’ format, the court will not hear the record of interview. However, if there are ‘no comment’ answers to some of the questions but answers to others, the court will hear the record of interview.

In some cases, this is the worst possible scenario. It is important to be consistent in a record of interview.

Other useful information:-

Persons present during interview

There are usually two police officers present during the interview although it is mostly just the one who will be asking the questions

Duration of interview

Interview times vary, from 15 minutes to all day. Suspects are allowed a break if the interview is starting to take time and the recording is suspended whilst a break is taking place.

How I can help

I attend with clients for interviews on a regular basis.  You can give me a ring to have a free consultation about your problems. However, a fee will be payable if I attend at a police station with you. You will find that my legal fees are reasonable.