Where an intervention order is place (be it an interim or full order), we cannot stress enough the importance of adhering to the conditions therein regardless of the circumstances. When a Melbourne Court imposes an order, the Magistrate will read the conditions to the respondent (the person whom the order is made against) one by one and ask whether the respondent has understood them. Except in perhaps an emergency situation, the Court expects respondents to abide by the conditions and has little sympathy when they are breached.
We regularly see clients who have been charged with breaches of intervention orders attend at our offices in dismay because the person protected by the order first made contact with them or invited them into their address. In these circumstances, the onus still remains on respondent to follow the conditions of the order and not contact the protected person by replying to their communication or remaining within a certain distance by going into their residence.
It is possible to vary the conditions of an intervention order to allow for contact via telephone, text or email if it becomes evident that there is a need for the parties to communication with each other – usually with regards to family arrangements or the running of a business. Without a variation, communications of this nature whilst conditions preventing such are in place will still constitute a breach.
The penalties for a breach of an intervention order, particularly multiple breaches, are serious and include a possible term of imprisonment. If you find yourself facing charges of breach of intervention order, you should contact criminal lawyers in Melbourne for advice before going to Court. These matters often benefit from negotiation with the Prosecution prior to the Court hearing and should be conducted by a solicitor.