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REPEATED BREACHES OF AVO's must have consequences - Imprisonment is the Court's view.

In family law related cases we see all too often the problem of domestic violence against women and children who are in a vulnerable position as a result of the break-up.

If an offender repeatedly breaches a bond and an apprehended violence order-imposed by the Court and continues to inflict violence upon a woman in breach of orders that involved similar past behavior and the same victim, he should expect to be imprisoned, and not for an insubstantial period.

This applies especially in cases of the more vulnerable victims such as
Unemployed persons, Person's cut off from friends and family, person's with disabilities.

Even more so if it involves crimes against children, o
ne of the statutory aggravating features is that if the offence was committed in the presence of a child under 18 years of age and/or party to the protection order.

It does not matter whether the offender is a parent of the child or not, although if it is a parent this will be particularly aggravating.

Penalties and sentencing for breach of protection orders

The maximum penalties for breach of a protection order vary significantly across state and territory jurisdictions.The table below sets out the maximum penalties in each jurisdiction.


Maximum Penalty


Imprisonment for two years or 50 penalty units ($5,500) or both (s 14 of NSW Act)


Imprisonment for two years or 240 penalty units ($27,220.80) or both (ss 123 and 27 of Victorian Act)


Imprisonment for one year or 40 penalty units ($40,000) for first offence, and imprisonment for two years for third and subsequent offences within a period of three years (s 80 of Qld Act)


Imprisonment for two years and fine of $6,000 or both (s 61 WA Act)


Imprisonment for two years—but if breach of ‘intervention order’ under s 13 (order to undertake intervention program)—maximum penalty is $1,250 (s 31 of SA Act)


Tiered penalties: imprisonment for one year or fine of 20 penalty units ($2,400) for first offence to imprisonment for five years for fourth or subsequent offence (s 35 of Tas Act)


Imprisonment for 5 years or 500 penalty units ($50,000)or both (s 90 of ACT Act)


Imprisonment for 2 years or 400 penalty units( $44,000) or both (ss 121, 122 of NT Act)

Under the Model Domestic Violence Laws, breach of a protection order is a summary offence which attracts a maximum penalty of:

  • $24,000 or imprisonment for one year for a first offence; and
  • imprisonment for two years for a second offence.

 Source : ALRC

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