While obtaining an intervention order is a civil matter, it is a criminal offence to breach an order.
There are two categories of breach:
- Failure to undergo assessment or comply with an intervention program [see Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 (SA) ss 13, 31] or
- Breach of any other term [see ss 12, 31]
- For a breach of a term under s 13 (failure to comply with intervention program), the maximum penalty is a $1 250 fine or an expiation fee of $160. The Court may also order payment of not more than a prescribed amount towards the cost of any intervention program the defendant may be required to undertake [s 13(4)(b)]. For details of the prescribed amount see reg. 4A of the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Regulations 2011 (SA).
- For a breach of any other term, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment. It may also result in an order for payment of note more than the prescribed amount towards the cost of any intervention program the defendant is required to undertake [s 31(2a)(a)]. For details of the prescribed amount see reg. 4A of the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Regulations 2011 (SA).
Breach by protected person
A protected person is not guilty of an offence of aiding or abetting a breach of the order unless their conduct results in a breach of the order in respect of another person protected by the order (or any other order in force against the defendant) [s 31(3)].
It is an offence for a landlord to provide a defendant with a key or otherwise assist in providing entry to premises where a protected person is resident. The following conditions must be met for the offence to be made out:
- There must be an intervention order prohibiting the defendant from being on rented premises at which the protected person(s) reside(s); and
- The landlord has received notification of the prohibition.Maximum penalty - $10 000
[Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 (SA) s 32]
It is up to police to decide what action, if any, is to be taken when a breach is reported. If a minor breach is reported, police may choose to warn the defendant about his/her behaviour and give a warning of the consequences of a further breach rather than take action at this point.
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