09 Apr Domestic Violence Respondents – What to be wary of when a protection order is made against you
Once a protection order is made against you, you must comply with the conditions on the order, even if the order is a temporary one. If you breach a condition, you’ll find yourself back in front of the Magistrate and this time, it’s a criminal offence.
In one of the most common of conditions, a ‘no contact’ order is added to the Protection Order. This is most commonly used in circumstances when an Aggrieved person doesn’t want to talk to you. If you’ve sent text messages containing abuse to your ex-partner, it’s more than likely these will be annexed to an Application and used to justify the handing down of a ‘no contact’ provision.
Each Magistrates court has its own version of a ‘no contact’ clause which states, generally, the following:
- That you cannot contact or attempt to contact the Aggrieved by any means (including phone, text message or via the internet).
- As an exception to the condition, you can generally contact the other person if it is for the purposes of having contact with children by written agreement.
If you don’t have children the rule is simple – don’t contact the other person under any circumstances. With smartphones, these days, every record of contact is kept. Even a missed call record left on a phone is enough for the Police to charge you with contravening the Order.
If children are involved, the condition is made significantly more difficult to navigate. Usually, you will only be able to speak to your kids during a time in which the Aggrieved person has agreed to, in writing.
At this point, you might need the intervention of a Family Lawyer, who can attempt to negotiate a written agreement with your ex-partner.
If you have a ‘no contact’ Order on you, it’s important you seek legal advice as soon as possible as it could be weeks, or even months, before a written agreement is reached and you can speak to your children again.
If you disregard a ‘no contact’ provision via a careless text message and are charged with a criminal offence, you’re in big trouble. Given how black and white the condition is and given the ease in which evidence is gathered, you will likely have to plead guilty and face a punishment. It’s also very likely that you will have the incident haunt you throughout any custody proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court.
If an Application for a Protection Order has been made against you, or if you’ve been charged with a Contravention, Cudmore Legal is experienced in Criminal and Family Law Matters and can help you.