Breach Of Protection Orders

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Breach Of Protection Orders

Domestic Violence Orders, also known as Protection Orders, seek to prevent further violence from being perpetrated in a domestic setting. These Orders can include restraints against partners, parents, children or other family members.

Having a Domestic Violence Order made against you could involve having a number of restrictions put in place. All Orders made in Queensland include the mandatory condition that you be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence against the people named on the Order. However, in addition to these conditions, a number of additional conditions may also be imposed.

Some common conditions include:

  1. That you not attempt to locate or approach the other party;
  2. That you not contact the other party;
  3. That you not attend or approach particular premises (such as the person’s residence, place of work or places that they frequent).

An Order is breached if the Respondent to the Order commits any conduct which is prohibited by the Order.

Given the wide range of restrictions which can be imposed by the Court, it is perhaps not surprising that breaches of these Orders are extremely common.

Why is Breaching an Order an Issue?

Breaching an Order is a criminal offence as per section 177 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012. This is an important distinction from the initial making of an Order, which is simply a civil order between two people.

Put simply, having an Order made against you is not a criminal offence. However, subsequently breaching an Order made against you is a criminal offence and may result in a criminal record.

It is important to note that it is an offence to breach any Order, whether made on a final or temporary basis.

What must the police prove?

To make out the charge of breaching an Order, the police are required to establish:

  1. That the person is the respondent against whom the protection Order was made; and
  2. That the person was either:
    1. Present in court when the order was made; or
    2. Served with a copy of the order; or
    3. Advised by a police office of the existence of the order; and
  3. That the person committed the conduct prohibited by a condition of the Order.

Sentences

The maximum penalties with respect to breaching a protection order are as follows:

  1. if, within 5 years before the commission of the offence, the Respondent has been previously convicted of a domestic violence offence—240 penalty units or 5 years imprisonment; or
  2. otherwise—120 penalty units or 3 years imprisonment.

The penalty imposed will typically be dependent upon the facts of the situation, the defendant’s criminal history and background, and the strength of any references provided on behalf of the defendant.

A minor breach of an Order, such as sending a text to the aggrieved, may result in a low-end penalty such as a fine or a good behaviour bond. In contrast, a breach which involves serious assault may result in a more serious penalty such as a term of probation or imprisonment.

If you suspect that you are under investigation or have been charged with an offence, it is important to obtain strong advice at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure that your rights are protected. A.L.F. Lawyers is prepared to assist in providing legal advice for any questions that you may have.

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An application for Divorce can still be made even if you live in the same house as your husband or wife. This is called “separated but living under one roof”. A further Affidavit is required to be lodged in these circumstances.

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