Protecting individuals from fear or acts of domestic and family violence is one of the roles held by:
Recent media attention surrounding domestic violence has placed a spotlight on these issues.
The Courts have always given serious consideration to domestic violence-related matters. Growing awareness has only increased the detail in which they examine related offences.
Recently, the Courts have given greater consideration to penalties imposed, to ensure they:
For this reason, it is more important than ever to engage a lawyer to appear with you before the Court. For legal advice about domestic violence, speak to a Sunshine Coast lawyer on 07 5408 0655.
It is not a criminal offence to have a domestic violence order (DVO) made against you. Thus, it is not uncommon for respondents to consent to the Court making an order on this basis. It is an offence, however, to breach any of the conditions contained within the order.
For this reason, you should talk to a lawyer about your options before consenting to a DVO.
s177 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act prescribes the maximum penalties. Generally, this is:
A previous conviction on a person’s history can increase the maximum penalty. A person convicted of a domestic violence offence in the past 5 years is subject to a maximum penalty of:
The above are the maximum penalties a Court can impose by law for an offence of this nature. The Court needs to consider many other factors to determine an appropriate penalty. The likely penalty a person receives will depend on:
Depending on these circumstances, other penalties are available, such as:
Breach of a protection order can also result in a criminal conviction.
It is necessary to examine the conditions of an order in detail to determine what will amount to a breach. Our Sunshine Coast lawyers can review your order and offer you tailored advice.
All domestic violence orders will include a standard condition, that:
“The respondent must be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence against the aggrieved or any other person named on the order.”
Other persons named on the order can include children, family, or friends of the aggrieved.
A Court will also decide if it is necessary or desirable to impose any other conditions. Frequent conditions imposed to protect the aggrieved and any other named persons include:
The Court can also include exceptions to any of these conditions, depending on:
There are a wide range of actions that can constitute a breach of the conditions within an order.
Actions that will always breach the order include committing domestic violence:
Domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse. It can also include:
These behaviours would constitute a breach of the standard condition that is on all DVOs.
At the other end of the scale, if an order has all the above conditions, less serious behaviour can form a breach.
Asking a friend, for example, to contact the aggrieved to ask a question, may breach a condition of the order. Even behaviour with good intentions can form a breach. For example, arranging for a florist to deliver flowers to the aggrieved or sending gifts. These behaviours can all contravene a domestic violence order.
If the order has a “no contact” condition, this applies regardless of who initiates the contact. If the aggrieved contacts the respondent first, any response can breach the order.
If the respondent does not comply with the conditions of a DVO, any person can report this breach to the police. The police then have a duty to investigate the complaint and may charge the respondent.
For a Court to convict a person of the offence of contravening a DVO, the respondent must have been:
As such, it is a defence to this charge for a respondent to prove they:
It is not enough, however, for the defendant to state they did not:
A defendant can also raise a defence on a factual basis. That is that they did not perform the action alleged to have breached the order.
If you believe you have a defence, we can discuss your available options including:
We will also examine the available evidence, what the police alleged, and your version. Based on this, we can give you an idea of your prospects of success of defending the charge.
Appearing in Court can be a daunting process. Our domestic violence lawyers have experience speaking before the Court and achieve results. We will present your matter in the best possible light.
Before your Court appearance, proper preparation is key to prove to the Court you are:
We will set out what steps you can take to present another side to the Court, beyond the offending.
If you have any questions about the process or likely outcome, our lawyers are here at every step to explain.
Aitken Whyte Lawyers Sunshine Coast are focused on results. Your rights are valuable and we will fight to protect these.
Breach of a domestic violence order can carry serious penalties. Know you’re getting the best result and call us today to discuss the way forward.
For legal advice, representation, or to discuss your situation, call 07 5408 0655.
Aitken Whyte Lawyers
11/8 Pikki Street,
Maroochydore Qld 4558
Ph: +617 5408 0655
Fax: +617 3211 9311