What is domestic violence and when can a person apply for an order?
Domestic violence law is an evolving area, constantly growing to reflect the community’s views and concerns. Fortunately, the law in Queensland recognises that domestic violence is often more than just physical violence. Specifically, the law recognises that domestic violence is conduct that is:
- Physically or sexually abusive; or
- Emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
- Economically abusive (such as controlling shared finances);
- Threatening; or
- Coercive; or
- In any other way controlling or dominating and causes another person to fear their safety or wellbeing or for that of someone else.
Domestic violence orders, also called protection orders, can only be made between people in a ‘relevant relationship’ which includes intimate personal relationships, family relationships or relatives and informal care relationships. These also extend to persons who formerly had a relevant relationship such as ex-partners or former in-laws.
Applications can be made by a person or their lawyer, called a ‘private application’. In some circumstances, police also apply for domestic violence orders on behalf of persons, regardless of whether the aggrieved person wants an order made on their behalf.
Police can also issue a ‘police protection notice’ which has a similar effect to a domestic violence order. These are essentially temporary orders which remain in force until an application comes before the Magistrates Court.
Police are also responsible for charging persons with breaching police protection notices, temporary protection orders and domestic violence orders. Any breaches of these orders are criminal offences punishable by imprisonment.
Why choose a criminal lawyer?
Domestic violence law is unique because it doesn’t strictly fall under any other banner or area of law. Domestic violence matters are usually handled by either criminal lawyers or family lawyers because of the overlapping issues.
If you are making or defending an application, we recommend that you engage a criminal lawyer to represent you. Criminal lawyers appear in court more than any other lawyers and are used to being on their feet in court and testing evidence. Unless applications resolve between the parties, they proceed to hearings in the Magistrates Court, where witnesses are examined and legal submissions are made to the Court.
Experienced criminal lawyers also possess the knowledge and experience regarding the criminal consequences of domestic violence orders and breaches. We’ve dealt with many clients who have consented to orders ‘without admissions’ without obtaining proper legal advice only to be criminally charged with breaching an order at a later point.
How we can help?
Hans Legal has a wealth of experience and expertise in all aspects of domestic violence matters. We believe our clients deserve clear, sensitive advice combined with confident representation.
We regularly make, challenge and negotiate domestic violence matters with outstanding success. We assist our clients to prepare and file applications, draft affidavits and negotiate with the other side. When a matter can’t resolve, we provide our clients with confident, expert representation in Court.