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    Domestic Violence

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      What is defined as a domestic relationship?

      In New South Wales a domestic relationship includes obvious situations such as married and de facto couples. However, it also includes all relatives (including step relatives and in-laws), and ex partners. It even includes people that you live with or have previously lived with.

      How are domestic matters investigated?

      Previously, NSW Police investigated domestic violence matters much the same as any other reported crime. Statements from alleged victims were either hand written or typed .

      NSW Police now use ‘Domestic Violence Evidence Kits’ (DVEC). These kits include video cameras, digital cameras and voice recorders. Amendments to legislation means that Police now use these devices to video record statements from alleged victims. The  alleged victim will still need to attend court however that recording can  be played as their ‘evidence’  at court.  This often provides very compelling evidence.

      What if I am convicted of a domestic violence matter?

      If you are convicted of any domestic violence offence it is recorded on your criminal record as “dv offence”. A court will also usually make a final apprehended violence order (AVO) against you. An AVO is a court order that restricts or limits your conduct and behaviour in certain ways. There are a wide range of conditions that can be imposed. These orders can be for up to two years duration.

      The conditions on an AVO can restrict you from doing certain things like:

      • Approaching or contacting a particular person
      • Approaching someone with a certain period after drinking alcohol
      • Preventing you from attending certain places

      An AVO can also prevent you from holding certain licenses such as security or firearms licenses. If you attend court and are asked to consent to an AVO being made you should seek legal advice about the implications of consenting to an AVO.

      Breaching an apprehended violence order

      Breaching an AVO is an extremely serious offence. If the breach involves any form of violence the law states that unless a court orders otherwise the convicted person must be sentenced to imprisonment.

      What should you do?

      If you are under investigation or have been arrested or charged for a domestic violence offence you should contact us for expert advice immediately. At Astor Legal we are former prosecutors and we have prosecuted countless domestic violence incidents. We know the law, the cases, and the defences to domestic violence charges. Your first consultation is free and we offer fixed fees for most of our services.

      • All charges withdrawn and dismissed

        The client came to us charged with Common Assault (DV), Destroy/Damage Property (DV) and Resist Arrest.

        Once the police brief was served on us it became apparent that there were a number of issues with the police case from the matters conception.

        Police had failed to comply with their obligations during arrest. The police also didn’t have enough evidence to prove that a common assault had occurred at all, or that anyone saw our client damage the property as alleged.

        The matter ran to a hearing, and after one adjournment and two failed attempts for police to bring all of their witnesses to court, the police weren’t able to lead evidence on the common assault and destroy/damage property without their witnesses.

        Despite the lack of evidence and compliance with their obligations, the police wanted to proceed on the resist arrest. Our lawyer spoke with the prosecutor and they agreed to withdraw all of the charges.

        Our client could not have been happier with the advice we provided and the forensic decisions we made during the matter.

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