Breach of an Intervention Order

Breach of an Intervention Order

Breach of an Intervention Order is laid when the police think that someone has not followed the terms of an intervention order.
Sentencing
Sentencing in the higher courts of Victoria Sentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Breach of an Intervention Order in the Higher Courts Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria Sentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Breach of an Intervention Order in the Higher Courts
Breach of an Intervention Order is a summary charge, which means that it is usually heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
 
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 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 Law
The section that covers this offence is section 123 of the Family Violence Protection Act.

Elements of the offence
A person may be found guilty of this offence if the following elements are proven in court:

  • A family violence intervention order has been made against the accused; and
  • The accused has been served with a copy of the order; or
  • An explanation of the order was given to the accused in accordance with section 57(1) or 96(1) of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008; and
  • The accused contravened the order.
  • A parenting plan has been implemented and is recognized by the family violence intervention order and one of the requirements in the plan has been contravened.
“Have you been charged with breaching an intervention order?”

  • 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 in cases like this
  • When are you alleged to have breached the order?
  • In what way?
  • Did the parenting plan allow for changes if communicated?
  • Was there adequate communication between those involved?
Sometimes doing something that seems reasonable in the circumstances can represent a breach of an order (e.g. dropping off clothes). Even if it feels ridiculous, a complaint can be made and police may become involved. It is very important that every condition of an intervention order is followed with total vigilance to avoid charges being laid.
 

The maximum penalty for Breach of an Intervention Order (s123 of the Family Violence Protection Act) is imprisonment for 2 years or a fine of 240 penalty units ($37,310.40), or both.