Breaching or contravening an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is an offence against section 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007.

The police can lay this charge if the accused is alleged to have breached a Provisional, Interim or Final ADVO. Exactly what constitutes a breach will depend on the conditions stipulated in the ADVO.

Elements of the offence

The offence only covers those who knowingly breach an ADVO so the prosecution must establish that the breach was intentional.

A person is not guilty of breaching an ADVO unless the prosecution establish that the defendant was served with a copy of the ADVO before the alleged breach, or if the ADVO was made by the court, that the defendant was present in court when the order was made.

Behaviour that may constitute the offence

For example, if the ADVO prohibits the defendant from approaching or communicating with another person (the protected person) and the defendant intentionally visits the protected person’s house or contacts them intentionally either over the phone, via text, email, social media, post or other means, that may be considered a breach.

In cases where it is the protected person who approaches or contacts the defendant and the defendant continues this communication or does not leave after the initial approach or contact, this may also be considered a breach even though the protected person was the one that initiated the contact.

Behaviour that may not constitute the offence

If the defendant comes across the protected person in public inadvertently, the defendant is not likely to be considered to have breached the order.


This offence carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,500.


Defences that may be raised against this offence include:

  • Arguing that the breach did not occur and that the allegation is false
  • Arguing that the accused was not served with a copy of the ADVO
  • Arguing that the accused did not possess the requisite intention to breach the ADVO and that the breach occurred inadvertently

If you have been charged with breaching an ADVO, call Karnib & Co Lawyers at any time on 0450503696 or email us on [email protected] to arrange a free consultation. For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Zoom, Skype and FaceTime anywhere around the world.