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What Happens if You Breach a DVO in Qld? A Criminal Lawyer Explains

There are many instances that the QLD government considers to be a breach of a DVO.

At Guest Lawyers, we have expertise dealing with a number of complex domestic violence charges. We can act as legal counsel for individuals charged with domestic violence offences. If you are on the receiving end of a DVO or Domestic Violence Order, we are available to advise you on multiple topics relating to domestic violence and other related criminal charges. We share some more info below on what a DVO is and what happens if you breach a DVO in QLD.

What is a DVO?

A DVO is a legal order that is put in place to protect individuals who are the victim of a domestic violence offence. The terms and conditions of a DVO vary from case to case, but what is considered a domestic violence offence is outlined by the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act of 2012. DVOs can also be used to protect other individuals that may be impacted by the domestic violence inflicted by the respondent such as the victim’s children or new partner. A list of all the individuals that may be protected by a DVO is laid out in the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act of 2012 in Section 24. Prior to the grant of a DVO, it is possible that the victim may receive a temporary protection order while the Court determines if a DVO is in the victim’s best interest.

Who Can Obtain a DVO?

There are no limitations on who can apply for a DVO. Anyone who is experiencing acts of domestic violence within a relevant relationship is able to apply for a DVO. Individuals can either apply themselves or ask one of the following to apply for them:

  • Legal counsel or family lawyer,
  • Police officer, or
  • A relative, or
  • Close friend

There are also multiple ways an individual may complete a DVO application. Applications may be filled in person at a Magistrates Court, printed and then mailed in, or completed online.

What Constitutes a DVO Breach?

There are many instances that the QLD government considers to be a breach of a DVO. Overall, a DVO breach occurs if the respondent fails to meet or obey any of the conditions laid out in the DVO. To be charged with this offence, the respondent must do one or more of the following:

  • Commit any act of domestic violence against the victim or anyone else specifically named on the DVO
  • Violate the terms of a “no contact order” by doing any of the following:
    • Contact the victim directly through any means
    • Contact family members or friends of the victim in an attempt to locate them
    • Ask other individuals to contact the victim on the respondent’s behalf
    • Come within a certain distance of the victim that was laid out in the DVO
    • Visit the victim’s home, place of work, or any other place the victim habitually goes to

What Happens If You Breach a DVO In QLD?

A DVO breach is a serious offence. If you happen to breach a DVO in Qld, it can lead to a criminal conviction. The consequences of DVO breaches are laid out in Section 177 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act of 2012. According to this act, the maximum penalty is either:

  • $18,576 (120 penalty units) or 3 years in prison OR
  • $37,152 (240 penalty units) or 5 years in prison IF the offender has been previously convicted of domestic violence offence within 5 years prior to the breach of the DVO

Through working with one of our domestic violence lawyers, we can help you by decreasing the possibility of getting charged with the maximum penalty for a DVO breach.

Need Help Navigating a DVO Breach in Qld?

There are many ways you can contact us at Guest Lawyers. Offering 24-hour services, our lawyers are available via phone at (07) 3211 3007 or by email at info@guestlawyers.com.au. Guest Lawyers also offers in-person consultations. In addition to DVO breaches, our lawyers can assist with a number of domestic violence charges, as well as sex offences and murder and manslaughter charges. Our full list can be found under Services. Please get in touch with us today.