WHAT IS AN INTERVENTION ORDER AND HOW CAN IT AFFECT YOU?
December 2011 saw the introduction in South Australia of Intervention Orders to replace the previous Restraining Orders that could be taken out when there was a perceived need to protect a person.
Restraining Orders could only be made by Magistrates upon them being satisfied certain criteria exist, however now we have seen the implementation of police imposed orders known as Intervention Orders which may be issued by the police irrespective of whether one is in fact required. The police can simply write out an order and serve it by handing over a copy and it becomes immediately effective.
If an intervention order is imposed upon you, you are still entitled to a hearing before a Magistrate and the order will specify when the Court hearing is to take place. At that hearing the Court may confirm the order, vary or substitute the order or conditions of the order, or revoke the Intervention Order completely. The hearing will usually be within 8 days therefore it is important to get legal advice as quickly as possible.
How Long Do Intervention Orders Last?
Once an order is confirmed, it doesn’t have an end date. To end a confirmed Intervention Order, it must be revoked by the Court. If you do not participate in the hearing, or simply accept the order that is imposed, it will remain indefinitely or until such time the other party chooses to revoke the order. This is different to the previous Restraining Orders that were often subject to ‘sunset clauses’ which allowed the order to expire after a certain time.
A substantial change with the implementing of these orders is that you may now be forced to leave your own home and not be able to return despite your legal right to reside there. You will still be required to pay your rent or mortgage despite not living there.
If you wish to contest an Intervention Order made against you, you are not generally able to recover any of your legal costs and in some instances, people will accept these orders because of the expense associated with contesting them. On the other hand, some people will be unwilling to accept the order on the face of the allegations made as there may be a flow on affect in any relevant Family Court proceedings. It is always recommended that you seek legal advice if faced with an Intervention Order such as this at the earliest opportunity.
While an Order is not seen as a Court imposed conviction, it is something that will need to be disclosed to certain parties, particularly if children are involved and you have an association with their school or sporting clubs. Any breaches of an Intervention Order may see you arrested immediately and remanded into police custody with or without bail and that in turn may result in a criminal court conviction at a later date.
Clearly, if you are served with an Intervention Order it is a serious matter and you should obtain legal advice promptly. If you breach any terms of the order it is a criminal offence for which you can be arrested.
If you require legal assistance with regard to contesting intervention order; Websters Lawyers have criminal law specialists who are available to provide you with advice and represent you in Court if you choose to contest the order.
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