Domestic violence is an act of violence or sexual or emotional abuse between two people. Australian courts take domestic violence and intervention orders seriously. If you are found guilty, you could face a significant period of time in prison. You will need a domestic violence lawyer to ensure you receive a fair trial and get the best possible outcome with the help of your legal defence.
Understanding Domestic Violence Offences
Domestic violence charges and their penalties vary a great deal. Depending on what you are charged with, you might receive anywhere between 3 months and 20 years in jail. Thus, securing the right criminal defence attorney is the most important decision you can make. Your attorney knows your rights and the best defence for your case.
Maximum Penalties for Domestic Violence
Domestic violence charges have maximum penalties according to their severity. For example:
- For a basic assault, the maximum penalty is 2 years in prison.
- For an aggravated offence, the maximum penalty is 3 years in prison except when the offence is exacerbated by the use or threatened use of an offensive weapon — in which case, the maximum penalty is 4 years in prison.
- Penalties for failing to meet the terms of an intervention order can carry a financial penalty. Failure to attend a court-ordered intervention program could include fines of up to $1,250, along with an expiation fine of $160. Additionally, failure to meet any other term of the order will result in a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison. You may also have to pay a fine.
- The greatest penalty comes from a charge of intentional injury under circumstances of gross violence. This Unlawful Assault charge has a maximum penalty of 20 years.
How a Domestic Violence Lawyer in Melbourne Can Reduce the Impact of Domestic Charges
From the time the police show up at your door and press charges against you, everything will change. They might remove you from your home, deny access to your children and belongings and forbid you to see your partner.
As soon as charges are made against you, it is important to get an experienced domestic violence lawyer to advise you of your rights. Never attempt to take charge of your own case. If you take the wrong actions, they can have a long-lasting negative impact on every aspect of your life. Your charge might even become a permanent part of your record.
If you are charged, don’t answer any questions posed by the police. If you say the wrong thing, you could implicate yourself and the statements you make may be used against you when you go to court.
Here are some other tips regarding what to do or what not to do after an arrest for domestic violence:
- Don’t attempt to have someone else contact them on your behalf. Anything your friends or family members say to your partner can be used against you.
- Comply with the terms of the intervention order. If you breach the order, you could face additional charges, a presumption against bail and more jail time.
- Provide your domestic violence lawyer with any communication between you and your partner. This includes written notes or letters, social media, emails, texts, or other types of electronic messages. This proof of communication can help you get a fair trial, as well as aid your lawyer in defending the charges against you.
- Seek the services of an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Melbourne right away. You need their expert advice on how to proceed without making matters worse. Also, the sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner they can begin preparing your case.
Contact an Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer in Melbourne
Josh Smith Legal – Barristers & Solicitors are an experienced law firm based in Melbourne CBD. We focus our practice primarily on criminal defence law and Victims of Crime Applications (VOCAT). We understand the impact that domestic violence charges can have on your life. We take enormous pride in providing high-quality and affordable legal representation to all of our clients. If you need an attorney to advise and fight for you, contact us today for a consultation.