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Intervention Orders

Although genuine applicants require the protection of a court order, sometimes they are handed out too freely. That is why it is important to contact our Adelaide Criminal Lawyer Rich Stanley. Rich has years of experience defending intervention orders and putting them in place.  His no nonsense approach in negotiations with court proceedings will ensure that you receive the best possible outcome without incurring unnecessary delays or costs.

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Helpful Questions & Answers

What is an intervention order?

An Intervention order is an order issued by the police (interim intervention order) or the Court. The order forbids a person (the defendant) from behaving in a particular manner toward a person or persons.

It is a civil intervention and designed to prevent harassment, threats, physical abuse, and non-physical abuse such as technology facilitated abuse or stalking. The order may restrain the defendant from doing certain acts and may also direct the defendant to comply with certain conditions.

Does an intervention order show up on my criminal record?

You are not being charged with breaking the law. Instead, an intervention orders is a civil matter made against you by a person or group of persons that fear for their safety. However, criminal penalties may apply if the order is breached. You will have a criminal record if you plead guilty or are convicted.

What happens if I breach an intervention order?

If you have been named in an intervention order, you must strictly comply with the conditions. If you do not comply with the conditions of the order you will be charged with a criminal offence: contravention of intervention order. If you are charged, you face a maximum two years imprisonment or $1250 fine or both.

Do not take an intervention order lightly as it can have longstanding consequences for the rest of your life. As of 25 November 2017, all Intervention orders for domestic relationships will be recognized nationwide.

How long does an intervention order last for?

The Court or Police may not fix a date for the expiry of an intervention order, or limit the duration of an intervention order. This means it is ongoing and continues in force until it is revoked. If the order is confirmed, it remains in place for life or until revoked. The ability to have an order revoked is now far more difficult than it was.

It may seem easier to allow the order to stay in place but individuals may later regret that decision. That is why it is important to have an experienced Adelaide Criminal Lawyer represent you.

If you wish to have an Intervention Order varied after it has been made, you cannot apply for at least 12 months (or longer ordered by the Court).

Who can apply for an intervention order?

Intervention orders may be issued for the protection of any person whom it is suspected the defendant will commit an act of abuse against or any child who may hear, witness, or be exposed to the effects of abuse committed by the defendant against a person.  The following persons may apply to the Magistrates Court of South Australia for an Intervention Order:

  • A police officer;
  • A person seeking protection or their representative;
  • A child over the age of 14 who may hear, witness or be exposed to abuse, or their parent, guardian or representative

Applications are made through the police who can also make temporary orders that last until the matter goes to court (interim intervention order).

If you or someone you know is suffering from Domestic Violence and needs assistance with an Intervention Order, the compassionate Adelaide Criminal Lawyers at Stanley & Co can help you navigate the process. A list of Courts can be found here.

How do intervention orders work?

Intervention Orders help a protected person and their family if they are victims of abuse. Abuse may take many forms including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or economic abuse. The Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 spells out what constitutes abuse in section 8.

Abusive behaviour can include, and is not limited to behaviour which:

  • Damages your property and personal belongings
  • Denies your personal freedom to make social, personal, or financial choices
  • Causes psychological or emotional harm
  • Is intended to injure you or your family members
  • Physically injures you

Intervention orders can prevent someone that is harassing, threatening or abusing you from having contact. This can include:

  • not being permitted to follow or keep you under surveillance.
  • not being allowed to come to your home or place of work
  • not being permitted to go to your children’s school
  • not being able to phone you
  • not being allowed to send you messages

The other person may also be ordered to do certain things, such as to move out of the house they may share with you. An order can be made specifically for you and your situation.

Electronic stalking and intervention orders

Technology-facilitated stalking and abuse is the use of technology (such as the internet, social media, mobile phones, computers, and surveillance devices) to stalk and perpetrate abuse on a person. Be careful if you have been named in an intervention order to not engage in the following behaviours:

  • making numerous unwanted calls to a protected person’s mobile phone
  • send threatening or abusive messages on Whatsapp, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter;
  • Hack the protected person’s email or social media accounts;
  • Hacking into a person’s email or social media account to impersonate them and send abusive messages to their friends, family or co-workers;
  • Using surveillance devices to spy on the person or geo-location tracking apps like find my friends on iOS; and
  • Sharing, or threatening to share, intimate pictures or videos of a person i.e. revenge porn.

How does someone apply for an intervention order?

There are two ways to apply for an intervention order: through the police or to the court.


If you believe that without intervention a person will commit an act of abuse against you, you may call or attend the police station and make a statement. The police will assess whether there are grounds for an intervention order and may issue an interim intervention order for your immediate protection. An interim intervention order takes effect immediately and a police prosecutor will take the matter to court for you. You will be required to attend court for a determination hearing.


Alternatively, you or the police may directly apply to the court for an intervention order. If this is done, the court can make an interim intervention order at the preliminary hearing. The magistrate may make an order based on the evidence presented by the police or the applicant. The order comes into effect when the police serve you with a copy.

If you wish to apply to the court for an intervention order, you must lodge two forms:

Our compassionate male and female criminal lawyers will help you navigate the Court process and ensure you fill out the forms correctly. If you are looking for more information about applying for an intervention order, see sections 7 and 20 of the Act.

Help! I was named a defendant and there is an order against me!

If you are named as a defendant in an interim intervention order you must be given an opportunity to be heard. This is a founding principle of procedural fairness and ensures everyone has a chance to tell their story. Our Adelaide Criminal Lawyers will attend the court hearing with you and contest the making of a final order. If you do not attend the hearing or fail to make arrangements to have a lawyer attend for you, a final order may be issued in your absence.

You will be served with a copy of an interim intervention order and a hearing date. It is important that you comply with all conditions on the order. If it is alleged that the contravention of the intervention order involved physical violence, or threats to commit physical violence, you become a prescribed applicant and denied the presumption of bail. This requires you to explain to the court that special circumstances justify your release.

How can I dispute an intervention order?

The only way to dispute an intervention order is at a determination hearing. At the hearing, the Magistrate will consider all the evidence and decide whether the intervention order is justified. The protected person will provide their evidence in writing at a preliminary hearing.

Our Adelaide Criminal Lawyers will cross-examine the protected person and ask them questions about the evidence they have given. If you do not have a lawyer, you are not allowed to ask the protected person questions directly. If you find yourself in this situation, you must write the questions down to be given to the Magistrate who will then determine if your questions are “allowed”.

At the determination hearing you will have a chance to tell the Magistrate your side of the story. At this hearing the court will either:

  1. confirm the existing interim order and make it final; or
  2. substitute the interim order for a final intervention order with different terms; or
  3. dismiss the application and end the interim order.

How can I vary/change or get an intervention order revoked?

You may not apply to vary or revoke an intervention order for at least 12 months from the final order being made. If you are named in an intervention order, our Adelaide Criminal Lawyers will help you to navigate the process.

To make an application to revoke or vary an intervention order, our Adelaide Criminal Lawyers will lodge two forms at the court:

We will also serve the other side with a copy of the application.

Intervention orders and family court orders?

If an intervention order is in place, or one is required, difficulty may arise for individuals who also have Family Court orders in place. If a Court makes any order that conflicts with an intervention order, the Family Court order takes priority. This means the intervention order remains in place, but any inconsistent part is overruled by the family law order.

In making parenting orders in the best interest of the child, the Court will give the greatest consideration to the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm. This includes being exposed to abuse or family violence. The Court will consider any intervention order involving the child or a member of the child’s family.

How much is an intervention orders?

If you are a defendant, or a person named in an intervention order, or require assistance having an intervention order put in place, Stanley and Co Lawyers offer competitive fixed fees between $1000to $1500.

For more information, contact our Adelaide Criminal Lawyer Rich Stanley.

What Stanley & Co Will Do For You

  1. We will meet with you and take your instructions;
  2. Draft the necessary documents;
  3. File documents with the court;
  4. Attend court with you or on your behalf; and
  5. Advise you of the outcome in writing and next steps if any.

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