What is a domestic violence protection notice and order? A domestic violence protection order (DVPO) and domestic violence protection notice (DVPN) is a civil remedy for domestic violence matters. It is used to give individuals protection after an incident of domestic violence, where there is a lack of sufficient evidence to charge the perpetrator. A DVPO can last up to 28 days and therefore allows the victim time to get further support. A DVPN can be issued by the police meaning it is effective from the time of issue. What is the process? After an incident of a report of domestic violence to the police they will assess the incident and decide whether it is proportionate and necessary to issue a DVPN. If a DVPN is issued it will have strict conditions which the preparator must follow and this may include non-molestation provisions. Thereafter, an application for a DVPO will be heard within 48 hours of the time of service of the DVPN. At the DVPO hearing, the Judge will consider whether making the order will protect the victim from violence or a threat of violence. The civil test of balance of probability is used when making a DVPO. The courts will assess the likelihood of a domestic violence incident reoccurring. Should the court be satisfised that it is likely for another incident to happen, a DVPO will be ordered. A DVPO will last between 14-28 days and it cannot be revoked or varied by the court. What happens if I breach a DVPO? A police officer may arrest the perpetrator if a DVPO is breached. The perpetrator must be brought before the magistrates within 24 hours from the time of arrest. Breaching a DVPO may lead to a possible fine of £50 for each day of breach, up to a maximum of £5000, or 2 months imprisonment. How can we help? The are police are issuing DVPN and DVPO more regularly. Where there is a history of police involvement, there is a higher chance of the police issuing a DVPN. Given the short timescale of hearings, it is important that you seek legal advice at an early stage. Once the DVPO is made, the court has no power to revoke or vary the order. Our Specialist Criminal Defence team regularly defend clients in DVPO hearings. We can help to represent you and challenge the making of a DVPO against you. Please contact our criminal defence team on 02085696289 or via email at info@mackenzieco.co.uk.

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