The Statutes Amendment (Intervention Orders and Penalties) Bill 2021 has passed both Houses of SA Parliament and awaits assent to become law. The changes to come into effect can be described in three broad categories:
- The penalties for contravening an IO will be increased.
- The definition of an ‘aggravated’ offence under the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 will be inserted.
- A contravention of an IO, involving physical violence or a threat of physical violence, will be prescribed as a ‘serious offence’ for the purpose of sentencing serious repeat offenders.
The maximum penalties for contravening an IO, other than terms in relation to an intervention program, will increase from $10,000 or 2 years imprisonment to 3 years imprisonment for a basic offence and 5 years imprisonment for an aggravated offence.
The maximum penalties for a second or subsequent contravention, or a first contravention involving physical violence or a threat of physical violence, will increase from $20,000 or 4 years imprisonment to 7 years imprisonment for a basic offence and 10 years imprisonment for an aggravated offence.
The definition of an ‘aggravated’ offence will be inserted to include circumstances where the offender knew, suspected or ought reasonably to have known or suspected that a child would see, hear or otherwise be exposed to the conduct constituting the offence or to any effects of that conduct. This is a broad definition. For example, it might include circumstances where a child is exposed to the lasting effects of abuse after the offending conduct has ceased.
If a person is convicted of contravening an intervention order involving physical violence or a threat of physical violence at least three times, the court will not be bound to ensure that the sentence is proportional to the offence and must impose a non-parole period of at least four fifths the length of the sentence.
If you require legal advice in respect of intervention order matters, please contact one of our team on (08) 8447 4466.
For further information on Intervention Orders (restraining orders) please click here.