Getting served with an application for a protection order can be an incredibly overwhelming and intimidating experience. So, what do you need to do? These are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding domestic violence matters?
What is an act of domestic violence?
An act of domestic violence can include:
- Physical abuse;
- Verbal abuse;
- Damage to someone’s property;
- Threats of harm;
- Financial abuse; and
- Intimidation and harassment.
What happens on the first court date?
You will need to attend on the first return date at the time nominated. We recommend you seek independent legal advice before attending court however if you do not have the time, then ensure you are present at court at the date and time specified. In the event you do not attend, the order may be made in your absence.
On the first return date, you will be required to advise the court how you wish to proceed. This can include:
- Consenting to the order being made without admitting to the allegations within the application;
- Requesting an adjournment to allow you to get independent legal advice; or
- Contesting the application and asking for it to proceed to a final hearing.
Even if you request an adjournment or indicate to the court that you wish to contest the application the court may make a Temporary Protection Order putting in place interim protection for the aggrieved. This will be in place until either a final outcome is determined, the application is withdrawn or further order of the court.
If there is a Protection Order or a Temporary Protection Order made, does this go on my criminal record?
The short answer is no. The proceedings in these matters are civil in nature and therefore not a criminal offence. However, should you be found guilty for breaching a Protection Order then you will be criminally charged, and any outcome will be noted on your criminal history.
If you are served with an Application for a Protection Order or have been a victim of domestic violence please contact MBA Lawyers on (07) 5539 9688 for a confidential initial consultation.