Breaching an Intervention Order in South Australia (previously known Restraining Orders) is set out in section 31 of the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009.
An Intervention Order places restrictions on the defendant from contacting the protected person. The parties may have been in a domestic or non-domestic relationship.
An Intervention Order in South Australia is breached if you do something that is in breach of the conditions listed in the order. The Intervention Order operates as soon as the police serves it to you.
Details on how to apply for an Intervention Order in South Australia can be obtained from our dedicated article, Intervention Orders in South Australia.
It is a criminal offence to breach an Intervention Order and protected persons should inform the police as soon as possible if the defendant has contravened any of the conditions. Keep any evidence of the breach to give to the police. Evidence can be text messages or other electronic messaging.
If you feel you are in immediate danger by a defendant who is in breach of an Intervention Order, you should call 000.
What happens if I breach an Intervention Order in South Australia?
A person who breaches an Intervention Order commits a criminal offence which is punishable by a term of imprisonment up to two years. This is despite that an application for an Intervention Order is a civil matter between the parties, meaning that is it not a criminal conviction to have an Intervention Order made against you.
If you have been found to have breached an Intervention Order, a court may order you to undertake an intervention program under section 13 of the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009. If you do not comply with the intervention program order, you would then be guilty of offence that carries a maximum penalty of a fine of $1,250 and an expiation fee of $160.
If you have breached an Intervention Order, a lawyer can also let you know if there are any possible defences. For example, you may be able to contest the evidence that you breached the order. Some of the conditions may be unclear and do not provide sufficient information that the alleged conduct would be a contravention of the order.
Will I have to go to court for a breach of an Intervention Order?
A person charged with a breach of an Intervention Order in SA must be taken to a court as soon as practicable. This usually means no more than 24 hours after the arrest but does not include weekends and public holidays. Police can arrest you and detain you if they suspect you have breached an Intervention Order in South Australia.
It is important to note you cannot be in breach of an Intervention Order unless the police have given you a hand copy. Usually the police will try to serve the order to you soon after the court grants the order but this may take a few days.
What if I disagree with some of the conditions in the Intervention Order in South Australia?
If you are a defendant and disagree with one ore more of the conditions in interim Intervention Order you can go to the court to ask for changes. It may be possible to have the order removed altogether. This will prevent you from the breaching the orders.
An Intervention Order can affect you in a number of ways, such as in any family law court proceedings and may affect your contact with your children. A lawyer can give you legal advice on how you can seek changes to an interim Intervention Order and may assist you in having the order amended to make it as least restrictive on you as possible.
It is important to note that once a court has confirmed an Intervention Order in SA, you cannot apply for amendment or revocation of the order for at least 12 months from the order being made.
When does an Intervention Order in South Australia expire?
Intervention Orders in South Australia do not have an expiry date.
An order continues to operate until it is cancelled or altered by a court. If you are uncertain about the conditions of the order or when it stops operating, you should ask your lawyer to explain the conditions of the order.
What if the protected person contacts me?
A protected person in South Australia cannot be found guilty of aiding, abetting, counselling, or procuring a defendant to breach an Intervention Order.
For example, if the protected person sends you a text message and you reply, you are contravening the order. Although you may be charged for the breach, the protected person cannot be charged with an offence. It is therefore important to get legal advice before responding to any communication made by the protected person.