When might an intervention order show on a police check?

When you apply for a job opening, your prospective employer will want to obtain as much information on you as possible to ensure that you are the best person for the position.

Among the details they will likely want to know if you have ever had dealings with the law. A National Police Check makes this possible, which provides specifics on whether you have ever had any findings of guilt or traffic infringements for which you were deemed culpable.

This is something that you may already know about, but a common question that people have is whether intervention orders appear on police checks.

The short answer? It depends.

But before we get into the specifics of what circumstances would lead to an intervention order being listed, it is helpful to understand what they are exactly and when one might be filed.

What is an intervention order?

Formerly known as restraining orders, intervention orders serve as filings submitted to and approved by a court of law that prevent you from engaging in certain types of behaviour. These behaviours may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Harassment
  • Physical assault
  • Damage to property 
  • Actions that cause mental or emotional harm
  • Entering or going near a specific residence or place of employment

While all intervention orders are to be taken seriously, some are treated differently than others. For example, amendments to existing laws were introduced in Australia back in 2017 that made all domestic violence-related intervention orders nationally recognised and enforceable. Previously, they were applicable only to the state or territory in which they were issued.

"Police checks are much more specific and usually do not show all offences."

Also, even though there are similarities between police checks and criminal record reviews – much like strict liability versus absolute liability – they are not the same. Your criminal record documents all offences for which you have been found guilty over the entirety of your lifetime. Police checks are much more specific and usually do not show all offences. What appears hinges on the act as well as where and when it was committed.

Furthermore, police checks are only good for the time in which they are issued. In other words, an entirely new one will be needed for subsequent reviews requested by employers.

We mention all this because the question of whether an intervention order appears on a police check is dependent on the purpose of the intervention order. Each client's situation is different, so it is helpful to go to a lawyer so you can find out how to best proceed.

Violating an intervention order

Intervention orders can and have been abused; it is not uncommon for them to be filed by individuals, even though there was no legal reason for them to do so when new evidence comes to light or potentially absolvable information was available yet was kept under wraps. This is the reason why everyone is entitled to a defence and everyone has the fundamental right to be presumed innocent until deemed otherwise.

But say, for example, someone has an intervention order placed against you and it went through all the appropriate chains of command. However, in your view, the order is fundamentally without merit. Even though you may feel this way, it is incumbent upon you to abide by the order. The reason why is simple: violating it is considered a criminal offence under Australian law. In so doing, breaching the intervention order will likely appear on a national police check, making it a potential red flag to employers performing their due diligence. Some jobs require a more comprehensive assessment than others, but regardless, violating an intervention order is one of the specific times in which it will show up.

Handing writing document with gavel in foreground. If you are due to appear in court, be sure to abide by the summons.

Failure to appear in court

When you receive a summons to go to court, that is something you don not want to take lightly. In short, a summons is not a request – it is a directive that compels you to show up and to do so by the date and time listed. Regardless of what you think about the intervention order's basis, it is important that you heed it and go to court at the stipulated time. Not doing so could also lead to the order appearing on a police check.

Your reputation is something that we at Russo Lawyers take extremely seriously and is worth fighting for if you feel you have been aggrieved by having an intervention order filed against you in error. We have over 600 satisfied clients and won hundreds of cases over our 30-plus years of practising law in Australia, with our specialties in criminal law, traffic offences, domestic violence offences and administrative law. We give you our guarantee that we will do everything in our power within the confines of the law to provide the defence that you deserve so you can clear your good name. Before you go to court, talk to us.

For more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation with no strings attached. We will be happy to help in any way we can.

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