At Taylor Bracewell we understand that it can be a daunting time. Unlike being taken to criminal court, there is no Legal Aid available to defend a non-molestation application, leaving many representing themselves.
Here are some of the options available to you:
- You accept the court order without accepting that you have done what you are accused of, and without the court making any findings against you. This means the matter can be dealt with at the first hearing and there is no lengthy, drawn out proceedings requiring more court hearings. The downside to this is that if you breach the order you can be arrested and prosecuted.
- You can defend the application. This means you would refuse to accept the non-molestation order. The Judge is likely to make an interim order, request that you file a statement, respond to a Scott schedule of the Applicant and attend a trial hearing, where you could be cross examined. The result of this trial would dictate whether the non-molestation order stayed in place or was discharged.
- You could offer an undertaking to the court not to do what the non-molestation order forbids you from doing. An undertaking is a promise to the court. It is up to the judge whether he/she will accept an undertaking instead of making an order.
If you breach a non-molestation order the police will arrest you. Non-Molestation orders carry power of arrest. It is likely that you will go to court, most commonly the magistrates court and subject to trial, will face sentencing.
Should you repeatedly breach a non-molestation order and the police do not act quickly enough, the Applicant’s lawyer can make an application for committal to prison, through the civil court. For this reason, it is absolutely imperative that you do not breach a non-molestation order.
Please call Taylor Bracewell and speak to one of their experienced family lawyers if you require further information about non-molestation orders.