Compassionate Domestic Violence Lawyers in Sydney
Being accused of a domestic violence offence can be embarrassing, overwhelming and even frightening especially if it involves a person that you care about. At Powerhouse Law, we want you to know that professional legal advice is available with no judgement. We take the time to understand the ins and outs of a case to provide the best legal assistance.
Powerhouse Law are a team of professional, compassionate criminal and traffic lawyers. We represent clients throughout courts in Sydney and regional NSW, with a focus on clear, transparent advice. We don’t believe in complicated legal jargon and prefer an upfront, honest approach with our clients. Offering competitive legal fees and a free first consultation, we’ve handled many criminal and traffic related cases, bail applications and appeals for residents across Sydney. We are a multi-lingual team with Arabic speaking lawyers, English, spanish, Lebanese and Hindi and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your enquiry.
What is considered a domestic violence offence?
Domestic violence is a well-known issue within society, but under the law it’s much more complex and multifaceted than the media portrays. It can take the form of verbal, physical, psychological, sexual, emotional or financial abuse – among others. It occurs within intimate relationships such as marriages, de facto relationships and with carers, or with relatives including family members and housemates. Domestic violence charges may also apply for ex-partners.
A domestic violence offence can include any type of assault, intimidation, stalking or breaching / contravening an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO), or other offences that occured against a person with whome you have a domestic relationship with. Read more information about domestic violence offence under NSW law in our blog.
If you or someone you know is accused of domestic violence, it is essential you seek advice from qualified lawyers. The domestic violence lawyers at Powerhouse Law will listen carefully to your case and offer considered advice on the best steps forward.
What happens if you plead NOT GUILTY?
If you plead not guilty your case will be listed for hearing. At least 14 days before the hearing, the police should serve a brief of evidence on you or your lawyer. If the police serve it on you and you have a lawyer you should take it to your lawyer as soon as possible. The brief may contain written statements of the evidence to be given by witnesses. Sometimes you may be given a recording of evidence, for example conversations between police and witnesses may have been recorded, or there may even be a video recording. You should read any statements, listen to any recordings or watch any video or DVD given to you. It is important to get legal advice about the brief of evidence before you go back to court.
At the hearing the police will call witnesses to give evidence against you. Your lawyer will question the witnesses. In some circumstances it may be possible for the police to hand up statements of, or recordings of witnesses (including the person alleged to have been assaulted) even if those persons are not present. You may also give evidence or call witnesses. The Magistrate will decide whether or not the police have proved the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If the Magistrate is not satisfied that the police have proved their case it will be dismissed. If the magistrate is satisfied that you committed the offence you will be found guilty.
What happens if you plead GUILTY?
If you plead guilty, the police facts sheet will be provided to the court. This tells the Magistrate what the police say happened. You should read it before the court case. The Magistrate may also be given other documents, for example statements from any witnesses, photographs of injuries to the person you assaulted and a copy of your criminal record if you have one. You may give the Magistrate some documents, for example character references. Legal Aid’s brochure Character References has more information. Your criminal defence lawyer will then give an explanation about how and why the offence(s) happened and some information about yourself, your current financial situation, personal circumstances and general character. If you plead guilty, or if the Magistrate decides that you are guilty after a hearing, the Magistrate has to decide what penalty to give to you. The penalty will depend on a number of factors.
Will an ADVO be made?
If you have been charged with a domestic violence offence an interim ADVO is likely to be made against you. If you are convicted of a domestic violence offence a final ADVO is likely to be made against you. The Magistrate will decide what conditions will be included in the ADVO. There are three standard conditions in all ADVOs. These conditions prohibit you from intimidating, stalking, assaulting, molesting, harassing, threatening or otherwise interfering with the Protected Person or anyone he/she has a domestic relationship with.
It is important that you understand the conditions imposed in any ADVO made against you. Listen carefully to the Magistrate when the conditions are being discussed in court. You will have an opportunity to comment on the conditions imposed. If you have children with the Protected Person you need to tell the Magistrate. You also need to say if there are any family law orders or agreements about your children.
If you are being excluded from your home you may need to ask for arrangements to collect some personal belongings. It may be that a condition will be made that you attend in company of police to collect belongings. It may be that someone else, for example a relative, could attend and collect your belongings After court read the ADVO carefully. If you do not understand anything ask for advice.
Reach out to our Sydney criminal defence lawyers for advice
Professional domestic violence criminal lawyers are available to you 24/7 from Powerhouse Law. We have the ability to apply for a Legal Aid grant to fund the hearing if you are eligible. Legal Aid funding is available for defended hearings. Call 1800 100 529 for emergency legal assistance or submit your details online to arrange a free first consultation.