DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTION NOTICES/ORDERS
A Domestic Violence Protection Notice or Order provides a “cooling off” period for both parties when it has been alleged that domestic violence has occurred.
What is a Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN)?
- Authorised by a Police Superintendent where violence, or the threat of violence has occurred.
- Issued to protect the complainant and/or associated people from further Domestic Violence and/or threats of violence.
- A DVPN may be issued when the suspect is to be released from custody without any conditions (e.g. No Further Action, Caution, or released on unconditional bail).
- Can be obtained with or without the complainant’s consent.
- The Police would issue a DVPN without the complainant’s consent if they considered this was necessary to protect the complainant and/or associated persons from violence or threats of violence from the suspect.
- Can only be issued to a person over 18 years of age.
- Lasts for a maximum of 48 hours.
- Can be issued before a suspect leaves custody.
- Can result in the suspect being banned from the complainant’s address (which may also be the suspect’s home), and/or the area around the address and prevents the suspect from being able to molest the complainant.
- The matter must then be referred to the local Magistrates Court, for a decision to be made as to whether to convert the Notice into a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO), which can last between 14 to 28 days.
What is the purpose of a DVPN?
- To prevent the Suspect from being in the complainant’s home and restricts them from returning whilst the Notice is in place.
- Notice gives the complainant time to consider what they want to happen next.
- Whilst the Notice is in place the complainant will be contacted by support services who can help them.
Length of a DVPN
- Up to 48 hours (excluding Sundays and Bank Holidays).
- During that time the Police must apply to the Magistrate to grant them a DVPO.
Sanctions for breach of DVPN
- The suspect can be arrested and held in custody.
- He/she can be brought in front of the Magistrates’ Court, where the application for a DVPO will be heard within 24 hours (excluding Sundays and Bank Holidays).
How will the complainant be updated as to what is happening
- Whilst the Notice is in place the complainant will be contacted by a local provider of Domestic Violence support services. During this time the Police must apply to the Magistrates’ Court for a DVPO.
What is a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO)?
- A DVPO can be granted by a Magistrate.
- When granting a DVPO the Magistrates will also take into account the welfare of anyone under 18 when the Police consider who will be affected by the DVPO, e.g. if either the suspect of the complainant have children under 18 living with them and what effect, if any, the terms of the DVPO may have upon the children.
- The complainant does not have to attend Court for a Domestic Violence Protection Order to be made.
- If the complainant attends Court they do not have to give evidence, but may choose to do so. If the complainant decides to give evidence they may be cross-examined by the Defendant/the Defendant’s legal representative.
- The Police may proceed with an application for a DVPO even if the complainant does not want them to do so.
- If the suspect does not attend the Magistrates’ Court for the DVPO Hearing, then a DVPO can be made in their absence.
- A DVPO can last for up to 28 days and includes conditions which the suspect must comply with, e.g.:-
- Prohibit the suspect from making the complainant leave their home;
- Prohibit the suspect from entering the complainant’s home;
- Require the suspect to leave the complainant’s home; or
- Prohibit the suspect from coming within a specified distance of the complainant’s home; and
- Prohibit the suspect from molesting and/or being violent towards and/or threatening the complainant and/or encouraging any other person to do so.
Punishment for breaching a DVPO
- The suspect can be arrested and held in custody.
- He/she can be brought before the Magistrates’ Court, where he/she may have to pay a fine of up to £5,000.00, or may be imprisoned for up to two months.
Aim of DVPN/DVPO
- To provide a complainant with immediate protection following an alleged incident of domestic violence/threats of domestic violence.
- In order for a DVPN to be issued against a suspect, the Police must reasonable believe that the suspect has been violent or has threatened violence against the complainant and that the complainant needs protection from them.
- Since the implementation of the DVPN/DVPO scheme in Leicestershire in June 2014, the Police have secured 40 out of a possible 45 DVPO’s they have applied for.
If you’ve been served with a DVPN/DVPO and you require expert advice, please contact the Criminal Department of Emery Johnson Astills. If you are currently being protected under the terms of a DVPN/DVPO and require advice as to what steps you should be considering next, please contact the Family Department of Emery Johnson Astills.