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Violent offender orders; an introductory guide from our criminal solicitor
05 May 2023

Are you in the UK and have been charged with possession of a deadly weapon, and have now found out that you are going to have a violent offender order placed? Do you need some help understanding what that means?

Look no further!

At ABV Solicitors, our criminal solicitor will be happy to explain what a violent offenders order is, as well as defend your corner to see if it is warranted. We pride ourselves on upholding our clients’ legal rights ethically and aggressively and will aim to have any injustices in criminal law undone.

So, read on for a breakdown of what you need to know about a VOO as written by our criminal solicitor.

What is a violent offender order?

A Violent Offender Order, or a VOO, is a court order that can be imposed on someone who has been convicted of a violent offence. It is designed to restrict the offender’s behaviour and prevent them from causing harm to others. VOOs were introduced in the UK as part of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.

The order can be imposed on someone who has been convicted of a violent offence, regardless of whether they have been sentenced to imprisonment or not. It can also be set on someone who has not yet been convicted of committing a violent crime but who is believed to pose a severe risk of harm to others. If you have had a VOO imposed on you, you can seek advice from our criminal solicitor to assess if it is appropriate.

Why would a VOO be imposed?

The order can contain a range of prohibitions and requirements that are designed to prevent the offender from causing harm to others. For example, the order may require the offender to stay away from certain people or places, to attend counselling or treatment, to be subject to electronic monitoring, or to surrender any weapons they may possess.

The order is typically made for a period of between 2 and 5 years, although it can be made for a more extended period if the court considers it necessary. Breaching the order is a criminal offence, which can result in a prison sentence.

VOOs are only imposed in cases where the court considers it necessary to protect the public from harm. They are usually only imposed on offenders who have a history of violence or who are deemed to be at high risk of reoffending. The decision to impose a VOO is made by the court and is based on a range of factors, including the offender’s criminal history, personal circumstances, and the nature of the offence.

Is it a sentence?

It’s important to note that a VOO is not the same as a criminal sentence, and it does not replace or reduce any other penalty that has been imposed. It is an additional measure that is designed to protect the public from harm.

If you have been convicted in the past of committing a violent offence or if you believe that you are at risk of a VOO being imposed on you, it’s essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Our team at ABV Solicitors can advise you on your options and help you to prepare your case.

Can a VOO be challenged?

Yes, it is possible to challenge a Violent Offender Order (VOO) in the UK. However, it is essential to note that challenging a VOO is a complex legal process, and we always recommend that you contact our team before considering this process.

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