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Domestic Violence

What is Domestic Violence?

“Domestic violence” is defined as any of the following acts that a person has committed against his or her spouse:

  • wilful injury;
  • wilful damage to the spouse’s property;
  • intimidation or harassment of the spouse;
  • indecent behaviour to the spouse without consent; or
  • a threat to commit any of the acts mentioned above.

An aggrieved spouse can make an application against the aggressor for a domestic violence order (“DVO”). There are a number of standard conditions that make up the DVO and the Magistrate may also impose optional conditions at his or her discretion.

Breaching a Domestic Violence Order

An application for a DVO is a civil matter, which means that the police are not involved. If a person has a DVO made against them, they do not receive any criminal conviction.

A breach of a DVO, however, is a criminal matter which means that the police will formally charge the person who breached the DVO.

The maximum penalty for breaching a DVO is $4,000 or 1 year’s imprisonment. However if a person has previously been convicted on at least 2 different occasions for breaching a DVO and at least 2 of those offences were committed within the previous 3 years, the maximum penalty increases to 2 years imprisonment.

How we can help you

If you have been charged with breaching a domestic violence order, it does not automatically mean that you are guilty of the alleged offence.

There are specific conditions that must be met before you can be convicted of breaching a DVO and there are also defences available to you.

We can help you by reviewing your matter to determine whether the police case against you has any merit. We can then advise you on what we think is the best option.

If you choose to plead guilty to the offence, then we can also help with reducing any penalty you might receive.

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