A Protection Order is also referred to as a Domestic Violence Order (“DVO”). The Applicant in an Application for a Domestic Violence Order can be either the person applying for the DVO or an authorised person, such as a Police Officer, who is acting on their behalf. The person who will be primarily protected by a DVO is known as the Aggrieved. The person who the DVO will affect is known as the Respondent.
The purpose of a DVO is to protect the Aggrieved by requiring the Respondent to be of good behaviour towards the Aggrieved, and preventing the Respondent from committing acts of domestic violence against the Aggrieved. There may be further conditions of the DVO, such as conditions preventing the Respondent approaching or contacting the Aggrieved.
An Application for a Protection Order is a civil matter. However, if you are the Respondent to a DVO and you breach the DVO, you will be charged with a criminal offence.
What is a Police Protection Notice?
A Police Protection Notice (“PPN”) may be issued by a Police Officer if they reasonably believe a person has committed an act of domestic violence.
The purpose of a PPN is to provide an Aggrieved with temporary protection, and will require the Respondent to be of good behaviour towards the Aggrieved, and not commit acts of domestic violence against the Aggrieved.
The PPN may also include a “cool-down” condition, which prevents the Respondent from contacting or approaching the Aggrieved for a period of 24 hours. The PPN may also include further conditions to prevent the Respondent from contacting the Aggrieved or approaching the Aggrieved for a further period.
The PPN will be treated as an Application for a Protection Order, and will remain in place until the matter is heard by the Magistrates Court of Queensland.
What happens if I breach a Protection Order or Police Protection Notice?
You may be charged with an offence if you do not comply with the conditions of your DVO or PPN. You will be required to attend Court if you are charged with an offence. If you do not attend Court when you are required, a warrant may issue for your arrest.
There are significant penalties for breaching a DVO or PPN. The maximum penalty for breaching a DVO or PPN is a fine of 120 penalty units (currently equating to $15,666.00) or a period of imprisonment for up to 3 years.
What happens if I breach a Protection Order more than once?
If you breach the DVO more than once in a 5 year period, the offence will be considered an aggravated offence. The maximum penalty will increase to a fine of 240 penalty units (currently equating to $31,332.00) or a period of imprisonment of 5 years.
I have been charged with a breach of a Protection Order or Police Protection Notice. Do I need to see a solicitor?
You should seek legal advice if you are charged with a breach of DVO or PPN. This is particularly so if it is your second or subsequent offence, as there is a higher chance that you will spend time in custody as a result of the offence.
If you would like to discuss your matter, or have one of our local and experienced team represent you, please contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.