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Having a restraining order against you is not something that should be taken lightly, as Daniel Kerr found out the hard way after sending two SMS messages to his ex-wife on 7 May 2016.

A restraining order is an order from the court saying that a particular person cannot do certain things or go to certain places. There are two different types of restraining orders, being a Violence Restraining Order (“VRO”) and a Misconduct Restraining Order (“MRO”). Of the two types of restraining orders, the VRO has more significant consequences if breached, compared to the breach of a MRO.

A VRO can be granted by the Court when there has been an act of violence or abuse and a need to protect the person who is applying for the order. The Court has a wide range of provisions it can apply. Whether it be to not attend a certain address or, as with the case with Daniel Kerr, to only allow contact between the person protected by the order and the person bound by the order when discussing the children of a relationship.

If a person breaches a VRO the consequences can be significant with the maximum penalty under the Restraining Orders Act 1997 being a fine of up to $6,000.00 and two years imprisonment. If a person has breached a VRO and has received two convictions for breaching that VRO in the two years prior to the subsequent breach then the court must impose a period of imprisonment on the offender.

Aside from the penalties provided for under the Restraining Orders Act 1997, if a person is charged for breaching a VRO then there is no guarantee that the accused person will be released on bail. During the course of the breach of the VRO, Daniel Kerr spent two weeks in prison whilst awaiting his matter to be finalised in the Magistrates Court and received a further $1,000.00 fine and a nine month Community Based Order for sending an SMS message to his ex-wife.

If you need help in obtaining a restraining order, someone is attempting to take a restraining order out against you or you have been charged with breaching a restraining order, you should seek legal advice as to the options available to you.

If you should require assistance please do not hesitate to contact Lynn & Brown Lawyers.

 

 

About the author:
Aaron Plenderleith is a Perth lawyer at Lynn & Brown Lawyers. Aaron was admitted to practice law in Western Australia and practices in criminal law, commercial law and Wills and Estates.

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