Domestic violence offenders are set to be electronically tracked after the federal government announced a $104 million funding package.
Over half of the funding will go towards a program that will use technology checks to counter tracking and intrusion by domestic violence offenders.
The reforms follow a trial in Tasmania that was deemed successful.
Technology to be Used for Tracking
The funding package will be delivered over the next five years. It has the intention of preventing technology and devices being used to commit domestic violence offences.
It will be targeted towards up to 30,000 victims of stalking charges. This will be done by analysing phones and computers for any GPS tracking programs that may have been installed.
There will also be searches conducted in the home of protected persons for cameras that could be hidden.
Women's Safety Minister Anne Ruston spoke out in support of the reforms, saying, "We want to support women and children to remain in their home or a home of their choice.through safety planning and the provision of personal safety alarms, security cameras, dash cameras and other technology solutions".
The package is based on an existing trial in Tasmania. Those subject to an apprehended violence order (AVO) - considered high risk offenders - have a monitoring system placed on them.
The victim is given a pendant which police use to monitor their location via GPS. If the two people are in the same area, officers are alerted.
The protected person breaching the AVO is not possible, as only the defendant can breach it. However, monitoring can lead to a situation where police believe the defendant has contravened an AVO despite them not being aware that the PINOP is near them.
"We hear all too often that perpetrators flagrantly ignore the conditions of family violence orders and continue to be violent, harass and stalk their victims," Senator Ruston said.
Over $26 million in funding will go to online safety programs, including supporting the eSafety Commission to set up a team of experts for people experiencing domestic violence and survivors.
They will provide practical personalised support to address technology-facilitated abuse through referrals from counselling services.
Getting an AVO Dropped
The reforms however do not address situations where the protected person wants to get an AVO dropped. As police apply for AVOs, the protected person cannot withdraw the AVO themselves.
An AVO is an apprehended violence order. It is a Court order imposed on a person for the protection of another person (or persons).
There are some mandatory conditions that come with an AVO, and then there are other optional conditions. These conditions restrict the behaviour of the person on whom the AVO is imposed.
As an AVO is not a criminal conviction, it will not appear on any Police check. However, an AVO may place restrictions on what you can and cannot do. Some common examples of conditions are:
- You cannot approach or contact a particular person or persons;
- You cannot enter a particular premises;
- You cannot go within a certain distance of a particular location;
- You cannot be in the company of a particular person within 12 hours of consuming alcohol.
Because of this, people commonly ask how to get an AVO dismissed. To answer this question, AVO lawyers refer to Section 16 of the Act which sets out the factors that must be proved on the balance of probabilities for an AVO to be made:
1. The alleged victim has reasonable grounds to fear a personal violence offence from you; and
2. The alleged victim, fears a personal violence offence from you unless:
a) The alleged victim is under 16 years of age
b) The alleged victim has a mental impairment
c) the alleged victim has, in the past, been subject to a personal violence offence from you and the court believes there is a reasonable likelihood of it occurring again.
3. It is appropriate to make an AVO in the terms sought.
If any of these matters cannot be proved, then the AVO will not be made.
That is why retaining some of the best AVO lawyers who have a proven track record of have these charges and AVOs dismissed. Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823 or email us at email@example.com. You can read some recent AVO cases here.
If a person is 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.
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.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.