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Making the order work

After a domestic violence order has been made, the magistrate will explain what the order means to the respondent and what will happen if the respondent breaches (doesn’t follow) the order.

If the respondent knows the order is in place (for example, they were in court when it was made, told about it by a police officer or served with a copy of the order) and they don’t follow the conditions in it, they can be charged by the police.

What happens if the respondent breaches the order?

Only the police can charge the respondent with breaching the domestic violence order. If you think the domestic violence order has been breached, you should write down the details immediately as this may help the police. It will also help the police if you have proof of the breach like:

  • text messages
  • posts on social media sites
  • letters
  • photographs
  • phone messages
  • any diary entries you make.

If you tell the police the respondent has breached the domestic violence order, they must investigate and may charge the respondent with breaching the order.

If the respondent is found guilty of breaching the order, the magistrate can order them to:

  • do community service
  • be put on a good behaviour bond
  • be fined or
  • be sent to prison.

If the respondent has been convicted of several breaches, has breached the order more than once, or had any other conviction within five years of the current convicted breach, the magistrate can fine them or sentence them to prison. If you have questions about breaches to your order, contact Legal Aid Queensland for legal advice.

If you think the police have not taken your report about the respondent breaching the domestic violence order seriously or have not acted on your complaints, then you should speak to the officer-in-charge or a police domestic violence liaison officer for that police station or region.

Do I have to follow the conditions in the domestic violence order?

Yes. You should try to follow the conditions set out in the domestic violence order or it may be difficult for the police to prove the respondent has breached the order. For example, if the order says the respondent cannot phone you, you should try not to phone them either. If the order stops the respondent from coming within 50 metres of you, you should not come within 50 metres of them.

How long will the order last?

When a magistrate makes a final domestic violence order, they decide how long it will last. The usual length of a final domestic violence order is five years. A magistrate may make a final order shorter or longer than five years if there are special reasons to do so. Before a domestic violence order ends, you can apply to change the order so it ends sooner or is made for a longer time. You should get legal advice if you decide to apply to change the order.

How long does a police protection notice last?

A police protection notice will last until a court makes a domestic violence order, or adjourns the proceedings without making a domestic violence order, or until the application is dismissed by a magistrate.

Can I change the order?

If you want to change the order’s terms or conditions, you must fill out a DV 4 Application to vary a domestic violence order form (see sample forms). If it is the first court date and a temporary protection order has not been made, you may be able to ask the magistrate to include extra conditions in the temporary protection order. You will need to have enough evidence to support your application to change the conditions.

Remember: If you and the respondent decide to live together again, you should get legal advice about having the domestic violence order changed. The respondent may be breaching the order just by being near you.

After you leave the relationship

You should continue to make your personal safety the highest priority after you have left the relationship and the environment in which you were experiencing violence. Make sure you have the support of family, friends, colleagues or a domestic violence worker during this difficult time.

Last updated 7 April 2021

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