Breach of an Intervention Order
– section 123 of the Family Violence Protection Act
Breach of an Intervention Order is laid when the police think that someone has not followed the terms of an intervention order.
Examples of Breach of an Intervention Order
- A person texts their ex-partner after receiving an Intervention Order that prohibits texting the ex-partner.
- A person comes within 100 metres of their ex-partner’s house in breach of an Intervention Order.
- A person calls their ex-partner to arrange time with their daughter. An Intervention Order states that the person may not call their ex-partner.
Our client was charged with Breach of an Intervention Order by contacting their ex-partner on a number of occasions. We made detailed submissions about our client’s personal history including alcohol issues which had contributed to the offending. Our client agreed to begin treatment for his issues. The Magistrate imposed a good behaviour bond and a small payment to the court fund. No conviction was entered against him.
What are possible defences to a Breach Intervention Order charge?
- Someone didn’t know about the Intervention Order.
- A person had an honest and reasonable belief that they had not Breached the Intervention Order.
- Another person was responsible for the activity.
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.
Questions that are asked in cases like this:
- Was there a case of mistaken identity?
- Was the person aware of the Intervention Order?
Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge
The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years or 240 penalty units ($37,310.40), or both.
Breach of an Intervention Order is a summary charge, which means that it is usually heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
“Did you understand the intervention order? “
What is the legal definition of Breach of an Intervention Order?
Legally, Breach of an Intervention Order is when someone does not follow the terms of an active Intervention Order.
The section that covers this offence is section 123 of the Family Violence Protection Act.1
What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
If you are found guilty of Breach of an Intervention Order, you can face a range of penalties. Less serious breaches may result in fines, the most serious will mean a gaol period.
Other Important Resources
- Charging for breach of protection order rather than underlying offence
- VCC summaries – Breach of an Intervention Order: Sentencing decisions from 1 January 2016 to 31 August 2016
- Vic Sentencing Manual: 2008 Report on Intervention Orders
- Victorian Legal Aid: Breach of an Intervention Order
- Driving Whilst Suspended on a Court-Imposed Suspension
- Fighting an Interim Intervention Order
- Breach Intervention Order – Charge Withdrawn
- Breach Intervention Order Whilst On Bail
- Breach IVO, Assault Offences, and Damage Police Sell
 Family Violence Protection Act – Section 123
(1) This section applies if a person against whom a family violence intervention order has been made—
(a) has been served with a copy of the order; or
(b) has had an explanation of the order given to the person in accordance with section 57 or 96.
(2) The person must not contravene the order.
Penalty: Level 7 imprisonment (2 years maximum) or a level 7 fine (240 penalty units maximum) or both.
(2A) It is immaterial that some or all of the course of conduct constituting an offence against subsection (2) occurred outside Victoria, so long as the protected person was in Victoria at the time at which that conduct occurred.
(2B) It is immaterial that the protected person was outside Victoria at the time at which some or all of the course of conduct constituting an offence against subsection (2) occurred, so long as that conduct occurred in Victoria.(3) In a proceeding for an offence against subsection (2) constituted by contravening a family violence intervention order, it is a defence to the charge for the accused to prove that—(a) the accused was the respondent under the family violence intervention order; and(b) a family violence safety notice in relation to the same protected person and respondent was also in force at the time the offence was alleged to have been committed; and
(c) the accused’s conduct was not in contravention of the family violence safety notice.