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Breach of a Domestic Violence Order in NSW

Domestic violence offence is defined in Section 11 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 as a personal violence offence that is committed against another person with whom the person who commits the offence has or has had a domestic relationship.

When a person is charged with a domestic violence offence, an interim Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) will most likely be made against him and if the person is convicted of a domestic violence offence a final ADVO will be issued by the court.

A breach of an ADVO is committed once there is a violation of the ADVO or any of the conditions therein. The conditions of an ADVO usually are prohibitions from going near the protected person or from committing acts of intimidation, stalking, assault, molestation or harassment. The protected person is the person with whom the offender has a domestic relationship.

A domestic relationship refers to a marriage, de facto relationship, intimate personal relationship, living in the same household, carer and cared for person relationship, living in the same residential facility, a relative, and extended family or kin in the case of an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander.

The penalties for breach of a domestic violence order are 50 penalty units and/or two years imprisonment. As part of the penalty the court may also order community service or periodic detention. The police must first establish the existence of a domestic violence order of the accused and the conditions therein. Next, the police must show that the accused contravened the domestic violence order or any of the conditions therein.

Finally, there must be proof that the accused committed the contravention knowingly. All these elements the police must prove to be able to obtain a conviction for a charge of breach of domestic violence.

One of the most effective defences of an accused in a charge of breach of a domestic violence order is that there is a necessity to contravene a condition of the order. The accused must be able to show proof that would support such necessity. The accused can also defend himself by proving that he did not knowingly contravene the order. Another good defence also is self-defence.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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