How Can a DVO Be Breached?


A DVO can be breached if the respondent commits any conduct prohibited by the order, whether that be a consent order or an order made by the court after a hearing. A breach of the DVO will result in the respondent being charged with Contravention of Domestic Violence under section 177 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 which provides that:

  • This section applies if a respondent against whom a domestic violence order has been made—
    • was present in court when the order was made; or
    • has been served with a copy of the order; or
    • has been told by a police officer about the existence of the order.
  • The respondent must not contravene the order. Maximum penalty—
    • if, within 5 years before the commission of an offence against this subsection, the respondent has been previously convicted of a domestic violence offence—240 penalty units or 5 years imprisonment; or
    • otherwise—120 penalty units or 3 years imprisonment.

What the Police Must Prove

The Police must prove each of the following elements of the charge:

  • The person is a respondent against whom a DVO has been made
  • The person was either:
    • Present in court when the order was made, or
    • Has been served with a copy of the order, or
    • Has been told by a Police Officer about the existence of the order.
    • The person committed the conduct prohibited by a condition of the order. – ie. Contacted the aggrieved

Possible Defences for Breach of DVO?

The Police must prove each of the following elements of the charge:

  • The person is a respondent against whom a DVO has been made
  • The person was either:
    • Present in court when the order was made, or
    • Has been served with a copy of the order, or
    • Has been told by a Police Officer about the existence of the order.
    • The person committed the conduct prohibited by a condition of the order. – ie. Contacted the aggrieved

What is the Likely Sentence?

A minor breach of an order such as sending a text to an aggrieved will usually result in either a small fine or, with excellent references and strong submissions from your legal representative, a bond to be of good behaviour.

If the breach is minor and you have no criminal record, you may avoid a conviction being recorded.

If the breach involves a serious assault against the aggrieved, the courts are far more likely to impose a more serious sentence and often consider lengthy probation periods or even terms of imprisonment for repeat offenders.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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