How to Cancel or Vary a Violence Restraining Order

Once a Violence Restraining Order (VRO) is in force, sometimes circumstances between the Applicant and Respondent improve and it is no longer needed. Criminal lawyers can give you good advice on how to go about cancelling the order, otherwise you can still be tried for breach of the order if you breach the terms.

To have the VRO cancelled you have to fill in a special form called Form 8 Application and lodge it with the Magistrates Court. The form has a space for you to write down the reasons for the cancellation or the variation so the court will know if there is sufficient reason.

In fact, for a couple to get back together there will have to have been a breach of the VRO, and so the respondent is likely to be on trial for the breach. It is then necessary to have that Form 8 filled out in readiness so that the court can know that the Applicant – the person who applied for it – actually helped cause the breach and no longer wants the VRO to be in effect.

However, in cases where there has been no reconciliation and you just want the terms varied, when the form is filled out you have to state what terms you would prefer and give a reason. This reason could be in order to visit a child, or in order to continue working in a place that may be close to where the Applicant lives.

The court looks for evidence that you are experiencing severe and unnecessary hardship and thus, that your hearing should go ahead as soon as possible. They will then set a date for a new hearing which you must attend.

3 Comparisons Between Time In Rehab And Time In Jail

For any two drug users, the paths they each follow to becoming addicted to drugs can be similar, even if they live in different countries and come from diverse backgrounds. Where those paths might diverge at some point is when one goes into drug rehab, and the other finds themselves in prison following a conviction for drugs offences.

The circumstances that leads each of these two people to the situation they are in now can be influenced by many things. It could be the country or state they live in and the laws and attitudes to drugs that exist there. Another could be that one’s family was supportive, and the other’s was not. It could even be down to luck where one almost gets caught in possession of drugs and seen that as a wake-up call to enter drugs rehab, whereas the other got caught and convicted.

No doubt these two scenarios have played out all around the world, and it brings us to where we compare rehab and prison and how they compare as solutions to drug addiction and drug crime. Is one better than the other, or do both rehab and prison complement each other and make the other more effective? To try to come up with some answers to those questions, here are some basic comparisons between time in rehab, and time in prison.


Benefits of a Spent Conviction

Anyone who has been convicted of a crime in their youth may have mended their ways and not want anyone to know about it. If the offence was over ten years ago, they can apply to have that conviction ‘spent’; that is, wiped from the records.  A criminal lawyer will tell you that such convictions have two classifications: lesser convictions and serious convictions. Here is how this is worked out.

  • The lesser conviction refers to a sentence of less than $15,000 for the fine, or under twelve months for a lesser conviction.
  • A serious conviction is imprisonment of more than a year in length or over $15,000 for the fine.

To have your conviction ‘spent’ you must apply through the courts. The review of the conviction should only take around 21 days.

The benefits

  • It will no longer be listed on a National Police Certificate, so anyone searching records to see if they can find out anything against you will not be able to find it.
  • You won’t have to tell everyone about it, although in some cases this will still be required. This means that when you apply for a job, you may not be required to disclose the fact that you had a conviction. Whereas before such a disclosure would work against you, now it is like starting over with a clean slate.

Violence Restraining Order Explained

A Violence Restraining Order (VRO) is a special court order that can be applied for by a person who fears that their partner or ex-partner will be violent towards them. If you have had a VRO served to you, you are known as the respondent and your ex-partner is known as the Applicant. A good criminal lawyer such as Culshaw Miller Criminal Lawyers will tell you that if you don’t obey the instructions in the VRO you can face jail time.

If you have been in some way violent to your partner, or have intimidated them in some way, or damaged property belonging to them, then they have the right to apply for a VRO against you. This will be served (given to) on you by the police and is in force from that time, usually for a period of two years or longer.

It is essential that you read the terms of the VRO so that you become familiar with them and don’t forget what you have to do. This will usually be to not approach your ex, not speak to them and not to contact them in any way including by mail, email or text message.  It is extremely important to take care where you go so that you don’t accidentally contravene the terms.

For instance, if there is a club or hotel where your ex is likely to go, or a cafe near your home or their workplace where you might have once gone together, it is best to avoid those places and find somewhere else to hang out.  Breaching the terms of a VRO is considered a crime and you don’t want to be convicted. You may have to go to jail or pay a fine.

When you receive a VRO that you think is unnecessary you have 21 days in which to object. You will need to send a notice to the court for this to happen. Criminal lawyers will be able to help you with this if you need help.  If you don’t object in this way, the VRO will become final and last for 2 years or the term mentioned in the details.


What Happens When You are Charged with a Traffic Offence

What happens when you are charged with a traffic offence usually depends on whether you plead guilty or are found guilty by the court. It also depends on how severe the charge is. Not all orders result in jail time. It is good to consult with criminal lawyers to determine what will happen and whether you need legal representation at the trial.

You may not have to attend court for less serious charges, but then you may be convicted. If you don’t go to court, you must phone the court registry after the hearing to see the verdict. If you get a Notice of the court hearing, you don’t have to attend, but you can if you want to.

Attendance is legally required if you receive a Summons for the court hearing. Also, if you receive paperwork entitled Police Bail or Court Bail, you have to attend court.

It is possible to go to court and represent yourself if the charges are not severe enough to result in jail time. For instance, you might be disqualified from driving for a specific time, lose points from your licence or even be required to do community service of some kind.

However, a criminal lawyer must represent you if it is a serious offence that will very likely attract a jail sentence. You should take advice from the lawyer even before you enter a plea. They will advise you of the best request to enter; guilty or not guilty. They also know legal ways to argue in your favour and may be able to ensure you are given the minimum sentence rather than a harsher one.


What is a Duty Lawyer?

A duty lawyer is employed by Legal Aid WA, to give advice and to represent people who have been charged with a criminal offence. Their services are restricted to cases appearing in the Magistrates Court. They can advise on a wide range of issues and can help you in many other ways. If you cannot afford to consult with criminal lawyers, the duty lawyer can help you.

However, if the matter is to be heard in the Supreme Court or the District Court, or if it goes before the President of the Children’s Court duty lawyers will not be able to represent you unless you already have a lawyer who asks them to represent you on that day.

How can a duty lawyer help you?


Why You should Avoid Contempt of Court

Contempt of court is when a person does not behave appropriately in a court setting, or does not attend court when they were summoned to attend. It is an offense that can attract a fine of up to $12,000 or 12 months jail time – and sometimes both. If you have to appear in court, your legal adviser will advise you how to behave appropriately and then it is up to you to do so.

So exactly what kind of behaviour is considered contempt of court? Here are some examples.

  • If you deliberately interrupt the court proceedings verbally, misbehave in court or insult anyone who constitutes the court – that is, those who form part of the court officials and the jury.
  • If you insult or obstruct a person who constitutes the court as they are going into the court or out.
  • If you refuse to take an oath or affirmation when requested in court.
  • If you refuse to give evidence when you are able to do so and compellable.
  • If you do not comply with a lawful direction of the court.
  • If you don’t attend as a witness or otherwise, when you’ve been summoned and have no reasonable excuse not to go.
  • If the court requires you to produce an item and you don’t and have no reasonable excuse for not doing so.