The laws relating to intervention orders have changed in recent times. Orders originally had to be made by the Magistrates Court. Now police have been given significant powers. It remains to be seen whether they will exercise that power appropriately. An intervention order can now be taken out by the police irrespective of whether the victim requires one. However, you are entitled to a court hearing. Once confirmed, they are in place for life or until revoked. The ability to have an order revoked is now far more difficult than it was. We recommend you seek the assistance of an experienced criminal law firm such as Woods & Co Lawyers to assist you. It may seem easier to simply allow the order to stay in place but experience tells us that many people can later regret that decision. This is particularly pertinent in the current climate where the order lasts for life. Importantly, as part of the order the court can force you to leave your own home and not return. To top it off you still have to pay the rent despite the fact you are not living there. Yes, the powers are now significant.
The making of the order is considered more akin to civil proceedings and hence the applicant does not need to establish their claims beyond reasonable doubt. There are of course many genuine applicants who need the protection of a court order, but in our view, these orders are handed out far too freely.
Some parties who are going through separation or a relationship breakdown use the order as a 'sword instead of a shield'. The consequences for the person who is the subject of the order is often great and the powers of the court are wide and varied.
If you wish to challenge the order, then you have the added difficulty that even if you are successful you cannot generally recover any of your costs. Some people worry that an admission or acceptance of the order may affect them in Family Court proceedings, particularly where children are involved.
It is also important to bear in mind that while the order itself is not equivalent to a criminal record, any breaches of the order are. As we often say, if an applicant is prepared to lie in making the application then they may do the same in alleging a breach of the order.
We at Woods & Co Lawyers can assist you through the process and advise you whether you may be successful in challenging the order. If not, there are many things that we can do to limit the 'damage' resulting from an order of this kind.