You only have to turn on a TV these days to see domestic violence is a topic of huge media and public interest. The recent murders of Hannah Clarke and her children have re-ignited this flame. This increased media interest, together with campaigns like “Not Now, Not Ever”, mean that police have no hesitation in charging people for contravening DVOs.
Domestic Violence Orders
Domestic Violence Orders (also known as protection orders) are made in the Magistrates Court after hearing an application, usually filed by police (a Police Protection Notice or PPN). Once a Domestic Violence Order is in place, you can be charged by police for breaching the terms of it. The normal conditions of a DVO are that you must be of good behaviour and not commit any acts of domestic violence. Often, there will be additional conditions such as not to contact or approach the aggrieved and named persons such as children or relatives.
A breach can be as simple as being in the presence of the aggrieved when you shouldn’t, or sending an angry SMS. Or, a breach might involve getting into a verbal argument or physical confrontation.
Penalties for breaching protection orders
Most of the time, any breach will be dealt with in the Magistrates Court. On a plea of guilty, the court will consider the nature of the breach and decide how serious it is. If you have any criminal history or previous history of breaches then the court is much more likely to consider harsher penalties than you’ve received in the past.
If the breach is serious, or you have a bad history, we make sure we present you in the best possible light. We link you to providers of behavioural change programs, enrol you in anger management courses, send you to drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and arrange reports from psychologists or psychiatrists. In addition, references from friends, family and employers can make all the difference to the outcome.
Why you should choose George Criminal Lawyers
It is extremely important not to approach these sorts of charges as being trivial or not serious. The courts often send people to jail for serious or repeated breaches of DVOs — even for first time offenders. Using an inexperienced lawyer can mean you end up behind bars or facing an uncertain future due to a conviction on your record. We have a decade of experience representing clients from all walks of life who have walked away from court with us.
If you want to defend the charge, then it’s important to use a careful and experienced lawyer who understands the evidence and how it can be used. Just because police say you weren’t of good behaviour doesn’t mean that they’re right. The careful approach we take means that you have the best chance of being found not guilty of the charge.