Breaching Domestic Violence Orders
What Are Domestic Violence Orders?
Domestic Violence Orders (‘DVO’), also known as “protection” or “restraining” orders are made by the court to prevent domestic violence against the person bringing the application (“the aggrieved”). The imposition of a Domestic Violence Orders will generally impose certain conditions against the person committing the violence (“the respondent”) and prevent any further violence occurring.
Both conditions and the DVO itself are very serious, and any breach of these orders will constitute a criminal offense.
Who Can Bring a Domestic Violence Orders Application?
You can directly apply to the court for a DVO order to be made, or ask a lawyer, welfare worker, friend or family member to apply on your behalf. Alternatively, you can make an official complaint to the police to bring an application on your behalf. When a complaint is made with the police, they will issue the respondent with a protection order notice (informing them of the DVO application) or take the person into custody for up to 8 hours.
What Conditions are Available?
All DVO orders impose a condition of good behavior on the respondent requiring them to not commit any further violence against the aggrieved and any other persons named in the order (usually a child of the relationship, family member or close friend). The order may also include conditions such as the respondent: –
- Not entering or frequenting your place of residence, workplace or commonly attended places (such as a day-care centre);
- Not coming within a specified distance of you;
- Not contacting you or asking any other person to contact you on their behalf; and
- Not attempting to locate you.
A respondent who directly or indirectly breaches a DVO order (in the absence of written consent by either the aggrieved or the court) may have criminal charges brought against them. To determine what conditions would be suitable in your specific situation, seek legal advice.
What Constitutes a Breach?
If you think the order or any condition of the order has been breached, you should immediately write or obtain as much evidence as possible to be used in court. Any photographs, pictures, descriptions, screenshots, recordings or letters may be used against the respondent in court. If a complaint is made to the police that the Domestic Violence Order has been breached, an investigation must occur, and the respondent may then be charged for any breach.
Penalties for Breaching a Domestic Violence Orders
If the respondent is found guilty to breaching the DVO Order, the court may impose a community service order, good behavior bond, a fine up to $15,380 or a 3-year term of imprisonment. If the respondent has previously been convicted of a domestic violence offense, the penalty may increase to a 5-year term of imprisonment or a $30,760 fine.
The sentence imposed against the respondent will depend upon the severity of the circumstances of the breach. As the penalties for breaching these orders are serious, failure to comply with any order should not be taken lightly.
How Long Will the Order Last?
The minimum term the court will impose an order for is 5 years. However, if there are special circumstances to the case, the Judge has the power to decrease or increase this amount of time. Although an order may apply to a five year period, the terms and conditions of the order may be changed by submitting a DV 4 Application, which is able to vary a domestic violence order.
If you have any questions about a Domestic Violence Orders and would like to chat with a qualified family lawyer in Brisbane – please contact James Noble Law at your earliest convenience by clicking to book an appointment.