Breach Personal Safety Intervention Orders
In Victoria, the maximum penalty for Contravene Personal Safety Intervention Order is a fine of 240 penalty units or two years’ imprisonment, or both. As this offence involves ignoring an order imposed by a court, the offence is considered serious by the courts and Victoria Police.
Often Victoria Police will consider laying a charge of this nature when conflict within an ongoing relationship continues after an intervention order is imposed. We regularly see this offence arising from neighbourhood disputes, relationships within employment and associations within social or sporting clubs.
Although it is unlikely the court will impose a period of full-time imprisonment for a first offence, if an intervention order is breached numerous times or with an act of violence the court will seriously consider whether the offender should be sentenced to jail for a period.
The Offence of Breaching a Personal Safety Intervention Order
The offence of Contravene Personal Safety Intervention Order is contained in section 100(2) of the Personal Safety Intervention Order Act 2010. It reads as follows:
- This section applies if a person against whom a personal safety intervention order has been made —
- has been served with a copy of the order; or
- has had an explanation of the order given to the person in accordance with section 40 or 76.
- The person must not contravene the order.
What Actions Might Constitute Breaching a Personal Safety Intervention Order?
Contravention of a Personal Safety Intervention Order can range from an accidental breach by the Respondent seeing the Affected Person in the supermarket to a physical breach by the Respondent assaulting the Affected Person.
The court imposes different conditions according to the circumstances of each case. Consequently, a contravention of an intervention order will only occur where the specific conditions of an interim or final intervention order have been disobeyed.
What the Police Must Prove
To convict the Respondent of Contravene Personal Safety Intervention Order, the prosecution must prove:
- there was a Personal Safety Intervention Order in place; and
- the Respondent had been served with a copy of the order or told about the order by the court; and
- the Respondent breached a condition of the order.
Possible Defences for Breaching A Personal Safety Intervention Order
Possible defences to a Contravene Personal Safety Intervention Order charge include, but are not limited to:
- denying the Respondent’s act breached the specific conditions of the intervention order
- denying the Respondent intended to breach the intervention order
- denying the Respondent was aware the intervention order was imposed
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
This is a summary matter which means the offence will most likely be finalised in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. If the charge of Contravene Personal Safety Intervention Order is attached to serious criminal charges, then the matter will likely be finalised in the County Court of Victoria.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.