What happens if I breach a protection order?
Section 177 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 makes it an offence to breach the conditions of a protection order if the respondent against whom a domestic violence order has been made:-
(a) was present in court when the order was made; or
(b) has been served with a copy of the order; or
(c) has been told by a police officer about the existence of the order.
The maximum penalty for contravention of a protection order is 2 years imprisonment or a fine of 60 penalty units*. If you have previously breached a protection order within 5 years of committing the second offence, the maximum penalty is 3 years imprisonment or a fine of 120 penalty units*.
*One penalty unit = $117.80.
You should contact us if you are charged with breach of a domestic violence protection order made against you. Our lawyers are experienced in these charges and can give you detailed advice around the charge and your options.
Which court will hear the matter if I breach a domestic violence protection order?
A contravention or breach of a domestic violence protection order is a simple offence and therefore will be heard in the Magistrates Court.
What are some possible defences for breaching a domestic violence protection order?
Possible defences for breaches of a domestic violence order include (but are not limited to):
(a) Where the accused was not the subject of the Domestic Violence Order Notice
(b) Duress (e.g. there was a threat to the accused or another person that the accused reasonably believed would have been carried out if he/she had not have done the act that was in breach of the protection order).
(c) Necessity (e.g. there was an extraordinary emergency that led to the breach of the protection order).
(e) Identification (i.e. the accused was not the person who ‘breached’ the protection order)
(f) Mistake of fact (e.g. the accused had an honest and reasonable, but mistaken belief that they were not the subject of the Domestic Violence Order).
It is not a defence for proceedings in respect of an order made interstate to show that the accused was unaware the interstate order could be registered in Queensland or was in fact registered in Queensland.
You should contact us about what defences may be open to you if you are in breach of a protection order. Our domestic violence lawyers are highly experienced in these matters and will advocate for you.