Sentence Appeal – Breach Family Violence Intervention Order

This is a case study on a sentence appeal for Breach Family Violence Intervention Order.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was charged in relation to a serious breach of a family violence intervention order. He was represented by a duty lawyer at the Magistrates’ Court hearing and was placed on a Community Correction Order (’CCO’) with 100 hours unpaid community work attached as a condition. He came to see us for advice and we lodged an appeal against sentence to the County Court.

What happened at court?
The client presented with significant mental health issues and we were concerned that he would not be able to comply with the work hours condition. We acted on his behalf at the Melbourne County Court during the sentence appeal for Breach Family Violence Intervention Order.

We carried out comprehensive preparation of the case. This included obtaining medical records and support letters to confirm previous periods of hospitalisation due to mental health, and diagnoses and medication prescribed.

Further, we obtained a remand history confirming that our client had spent nearly a month in custody waiting for the matter to be determined in the Magistrates’ Court. Although these days were not formally declared as a sentence, they were relevant to the punishment already inflicted on our client and we urged the court to take this into account.

What was the result?
Ultimately we persuaded the judge that treatment-only CCO was more appropriate. The judge agreed and imposed a therapeutic order. This means that our client will be monitored in the community and, more importantly, will receive mental health treatment and so he will not be required to attend and participate in community work.

Our client struggles with his mental health to the point where sometimes he finds it difficult to get out of bed. He has been hospitalised in the past. The treatment-only CCO means that he can focus on his health and rehabilitation without the spectre of work hours looming over him.

Our client has not escaped a penalty altogether. But the result of this sentence appeal for Breach Family Violence Intervention Order strikes a good balance between the court’s role in imposing a punishment and our client’s need to care for his mental health and to recover in the community.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 07/03/2018