The court did not record a conviction for his first domestic violence offence. It is our view that the given the nature of the offending, the Magistrate used their sentencing discretion by not recording a conviction.
Breaching a Domestic Violence Order by Sending a Text Message
In this case study, the man who was sent to jail for a text message had breached a domestic violence order (“DVO”). Further, as this was not his first domestic violence offence, he was liable to a penalty prescribed under section 177(1)(2) of the Domestic Violence and Family Protection Act 2012 (Qld). The maximum penalty for a breach of this nature is five years imprisonment.
Domestic violence has become increasingly recognised as behaviour which is not acceptable in our society. The result of which has many individuals challenging allegations made against them through the courts. Our role is to assist clients in assessing these allegations and represent them at court process.
Breaching of Suspended Sentence
Our client had been placed on a DVO when police attended a dispute. There was an argument between our client and his partner at the time. He and his partner had been going out for three months, when she asked if she could bring another man into the relationship. Given our client’s criminal history, a DVO had been issued by police. This on its own did not warrant a domestic violence offence.
The DVO allowed our client (“respondent”) to communicate with partner (“aggrieved”) provided she gave consent. The relationship continued for a while, irrespective of the argument and DVO. The aggrieved had begun to message him, threatening to throw out sentimental belongings and memorabilia.
The aggrieved has then immediately revoked consent and our client has sent her a text message. This has caused him to breach his DVO and the breach the suspended sentence.
Our firm had taken over this matter, while our client was serving his suspended sentence. Within two weeks of obtaining instructions, we moved the matter to the Brisbane Magistrates Court and were successful in a bail application. Up until making a bail application, our client had served 70 days in prison.
We sentenced him two weeks later, making a strong submission that the text message, which breached the DVO, was a technical breach and that imprisonment is not justified. This was owing to the circumstances that our client had been provoked by the aggrieved. While this submission was accepted by the Magistrate, considering our client’s lengthy history of domestic violence, it was a difficult submission to make. As our client was already on a suspended sentence, the only option allowed by law was to seek a parole order. We were able to get him parole on the day of sentencing.
Through an effective bail application and the result of our sentencing submissions, we were able to get our client out of jail a month ahead of time.
It is important to know your rights and responsibilities under the law. We have successfully assisted many clients who have been accused or charged of a domestic violence offence. If you have been charged with a domestic violence offence or need assistance challenging a DVO, contact Brisbane Criminal Lawyers on 1800 200 357 for a free initial consultation.