It is against the law to break the rules of a DVO.

If you do not follow the rules of a DVO, the police might arrest you or charge you with a breach of DVO, which is a crime. If police charge you with breaching a DVO you will go to court where a judge will decide what will happen.

If a judge decides that you broke the rules of a DVO, the judge will decide how to punish you. The judge can send you to jail for up to two years for breaking the rules of a DVO. The judge might give you a different punishment, like a fine or community work.

If you follow the rules of a DVO, information about that DVO does not go on your criminal record. When a court says you are guilty of breaching a DVO, that information will go on your criminal record.

Text based resources about this topic


What happens if someone breaks a domestic violence order?
Domestic Violence Orders. Information for Defendants

This booklet has information about what might happen if you don’t follow a DVO.

Resources to listen to


Breach (Yolngu Matha)

This audio explains the word breach in Yolngu Matha. Click here for more recordings like this.


View graphic resources like posters and photos


Non-violence DVO

This poster explains non-violence DVOs:

Click here to view Non-violence DVO

This picture explains non-intox DVO

Click here to view NON-INTOX DVO POSTER
Full non-contact DVO poster

Here is a poster that explains full non-contact DVOs

Click here to view Full non-contact DVO poster

Glossary: What these words mean


When a person is guilty, it means that a judge or jury decided that he broke the law.

community work

Community work is one way that a judge might punish a person who breaks the law. Community work might include picking up rubbish, cleaning, or doing gardening.


criminal record

A law paper that shows every time a judge has said the defendant was guilty of breaking the law.


This means to break a law, an agreement or an order (rule) made by the court. You breach something when you don’t do what it says.


The person who the police say broke the law. In domestic violence orders, this is the person whom the order tells not to be violent.

domestic violence order (DVO)

A domestic violence order (DVO) is a law-paper from the police or a judge. A DVO has rules to protect people from domestic violence. A DVO can make rules about what a person can do. For example, a no-contact DVO means no going near, calling, texting, or contacting the person protected by the order. A non-intoxication order means no alcohol or drugs.

If someone breaks the rules of a DVO they are doing a crime.

When the police make the DVO it only lasts until a judge talks about it in court. The judge decides if the DVO keeps going and what rules it has.

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