Clarity Law

Specialist Criminal Law Firm Queensland
Monday, 22 January 2024 19:12

Will I go to jail for breaching a DVO

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An all to common offence that the Court system deals with is one of Breach Domestic Violence Order. This article is not going to be an examination of what this offence is, our office has written a comprehensive article on the subject here.

What this article aims at answering, is the question that we as criminal defence practitioners are asked, “Am I going to go to jail for breaching my domestic violence order?”


What do the statistics show?

going to jail for breaching DVO

The above graph demonstrates the FY 22/23 sentencing statistics as it relate to Domestic Violence offences, however the data reflects the most serious penalty imposed at the time they are sentenced for their charges.  


What can we glean from this graph?

The initial takeaway is that the most common penalty imposed is that of Imprisonment or Detention, this however does not take into account partially or wholly suspended sentences, nor does it take into account objective seriousness of the offending. Let it be clear, the charge of Contravene Domestic Violence Order is a charge the courts take very seriously.

However, the court is required to take each case on its facts and impose a sentence that is just in all the circumstances.

The Court will look at the following factors in determining what penalty to impose:

  1. What was the exact nature of the breach, was it serious or was it more of a technical breach

  2. Does the defendant have a criminal history and if so for what and how recent was it

  3. Was any violence used in the breach

  4. Were any children present during the breach

  5. What impact did the breach have on the aggrieved?

  6. The timing of the breach i.e. how long was the DVO in place before it was breached

  7. Was it an early plea of guilty

  8. Is the defendant sorry for his or her actions?

  9. How old is the defendant?, youthful defendants will often receive a lesser sentence

The court must also take account of the provisions of section 9 of the Penalties and Sentences Act. In summary those are that the purpose of the sentence is to punish the offender to an extent or in a way that is just in all the circumstances, facilitate avenues of rehabilitation, deter the offender and others from committing a similar offence, make it clear that the community denounces the conduct in this offence, and protect the community.

There has, in our experience been an increase in willingness of Courts to sentence offenders to periods of imprisonment for non-violent and persistent breaches of orders.



While it appears statistically that a period of imprisonment, in some form follows as a result of a Breach of Domestic Violence Order offence, these statistics cannot be taken in isolation. A breach of a DVO is a serious charge and viewed so by the Magistrate and the Prosecutor. You do not want to face a court by yourself with this charge. There are serious penalties that can be imposed and the court must also decide whether to record a conviction or not. If a conviction is recorded you could be prevented from travelling overseas or getting certain jobs or work contracts.

We will reiterate - Courts have been cracking down on DVO cases lately and the pressure to apply harsh sentences is only increasing as the community continues to denounce the behaviour.

An experienced criminal defence lawyer will know what mitigating information can be put to Magistrate to in order to reduce the penalty and how to negotiate with the prosecutor where necessary.


How do I get more information or engage you to act for me? 

If you want to engage us or just need further free information or advice then you can either;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you

  2. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm

  3. Click here to select a time for us to have a free 15 minute telephone conference with you

  4. Email the firms founder on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  5. Send us a message on Facebook Messenger

  6. Click the help button at the bottom right and leave us a message

  7. Visit our main DVO page for all the information you could ever need

We are a no pressure law firm, we are happy to provide free initial information to assist you. If you want to engage us then great, we will give you a fixed price for our services so you will know with certainty what we will cost. All the money goes into a trust account monitored by the Queensland Law Society and cannot be taken out without your permission or until we are legally allowed to.

Read 150 times Last modified on Monday, 22 January 2024 19:18
Jack Marshall

Jack is a former soldier and now a criminal defence lawyer with Clarity Law. He helps clients navigate the court process and get the best results.