Why choose McKenzie McLoughlin law?
There has been a renewed focus by Parliament, the Public, and the Courts regarding the prevalence of the problem of domestic violence in society. Aside from punishing the offender for an offence, Courts deal with domestic violence matters very seriously in an attempt to deter and denounce the offender (and potentially others) from committing further acts of violence in a domestic setting. As such, it is important to have specialised domestic violence lawyers by your side when charged with a domestic violence matter.
Our two criminal lawyers are non-judgmental and realise that for most matters there are often, ‘two sides to a story’. By utilising their experience as former prosecutors and domestic violence practitioners, Josh and James will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of any case against you, and give you honest legal advice in respect of your matter.
Our criminal lawyers will tenaciously defend you at such a stressful time in your life. If the matter is a plea of guilty, then Josh and James are capable of delivering effective submissions on your behalf. If charged with any domestic violence offence, contact Josh and James as soon as possible.
What are examples of domestic violence offences?
Domestic violence offences are wide-ranging but are all considered serious in nature due to the offence occurring in a domestic setting or relationship. To put it simply, a domestic violence offence is a ‘personal violence offence’ which takes place in a ‘domestic relationship’. Some of the relevant offences are listed below:
- common assault
- assault occasioning actual bodily harm
- assault occasioning a wound or grievous bodily harm
- stalking or intimidation
- manslaughter or murder.
In recent times, there has been the introduction of the Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief (DVEC) amendments to the law. This allows for audio or video recorded statements, taken from domestic violence complainants, to be admitted as all or part of their evidence in chief. It is critical that for domestic violence matters you consult with experienced domestic violence lawyers. We recommend that you contact our criminal lawyers at McKenzie McLoughlin Law for advice and representation in any domestic matter.
What happens in respect of an accompanying AVO if I am guilty?
Pursuant to section 39 of The Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act, if a plea of guilty is entered or a finding of guilt is made to a prescribed offence, then a court must make an Apprehended Violence Order for the protection of the person in need of protection (PINOP). Only if the Court is satisfied that it is not required to make an order will it not make one (e.g. in circumstances where a final AVO has already been made against a person).
What is an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO)?
An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) can either be an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) or an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO). Both ADVO’s and APVO’s are differentiated on the basis that the parties are either in a defined domestic relationship or are not.
An Apprehended Violence Order is an order to protect victims of domestic or personal violence when they are fearful of future violence or threats to their safety.
An AVO is not a criminal charge. It is an order for future protection. An AVO sets out restrictions on the defendants behaviour, so as to provide protection moving forward.
What happens if I breach an AVO?
If a person breaches an AVO then it is a criminal offence. That offence is found at section 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act.
A person breaches an AVO if they knowingly do something that the AVO says they are not allowed to do. As such, it is likely that if the AVO is breached, then the person who breached it will be arrested by police and charged with the offence of ‘contravening the AVO’ pursuant to the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act. If there was also further offending behaviour which took place at the time of contravening the AVO, then it is likely that the person will be charged with those offences too.
It is stressed that should you be charged with contravening or breaching an AVO, then you may also be refused bail by the Police. This will mean that you will have to apply for release on bail in front of a Magistrate at Court. As Josh and James have extensive experience in appearing in both domestic matters and also bail matters, ensure you contact them when you need their representation. at the bail hearing and thereafter.
What’s the penalty for breaching an AVO?
If you breach an AVO you may be arrested and charged with contravening an AVO. The police may give you a Court Attendance Notice and you will have to attend Court.
A breach of an AVO is a criminal offence. If the Court convicts a person of breaching an AVO, that person could be fined $5,500 and/or imprisoned for up to two years. If the breach involves an act or acts of violence, it is considered a serious offence and there is a stronger chance of a custodial sentence.
Due to any breach of AVO being considered as a serious criminal offence, please contact Josh and James for excellent legal representation. Josh and James are client focused and results driven.
Are there defences available to contravening AVO’s?
There are defences available for the offence of contravening an AVO. One such defence is where the accused person has not been served with an AVO prior to contravening it, and therefore had no knowledge of its existence. There are also other defence available. It is recommended that if charged with a domestic violence offence or with contravening an AVO, you contact Josh and James for immediate advice and representation.