Domestic Violence Law Queensland | Skuse Graham Criminal Lawyers

Domestic violence law is a complex and sensitive area of the law. Whether you have received a domestic violence order or are applying for a domestic violence protection order, it can be hard to understand and manoeuvre the legal environment without professional guidance. Skuse Graham Lawyers provides legal support services for both sides in domestic violence matters to reduce the stress of going to court.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviour where the use of power is used to gain and maintain control over victims in an intimate relationship. This is commonly presented in the form of physical or sexual abuse, but emotional, financial and psychological abuse can be more subtle and less visible to the public. Victims can extend beyond romantic partners that are dating, married or cohabiting, to children, young people, relatives or household members.

Violent patterns of behaviour are often repeated, with an increasing severity of harm, making domestic and family violence incredibly serious matters. The consequences of these situations can put victims in immediate danger, and leave them with lasting emotional, physical and psychological hurt.

Book titled 'Domestic Violence Law' with a gavel and pens on a desk.

Types of domestic and family violence and abuse

Domestic violence can be inflicted in the form of threats or actions. They are commonly categorised under the following. It is important to act and seek help as soon as you first recognise the signs of domestic violence to ensure the safety of you and other victims.

Physical abuse

Sexual abuse

Emotional abuse

Financial abuse

Psychological abuse

Judge making a ruling on domestic violence case

What is a Domestic Violence Order (DVO)?

Domestic violence orders, otherwise known as protection orders are official civil court documents issued with the intent to put an end to a perpetrator’s threats or acts of domestic and family violence against a victim. These documents can last for up to 5 years, unless reasons for a shortened order can be delivered.

In the case of a cross-application, where both parties concurrently apply for a DVO, the court hears both cases together.

Who can apply for a DVO?

DVOs can be applied for privately by the victim, or by a police officer on behalf of the victim. Private applications do not require incidents to be investigated by the police, whilst police applications result from the police attending a domestic and family violence situation and deeming that domestic violence was committed. It can be helpful to seek the help of a lawyer if pursuing the former option.

magistrate hearing for dv case
domestic violence scene

Types of DVOs in Queensland

The Queensland court and justice system offers two types of DVOs: Protection orders & temporary protection orders.

A protection order is a court order issued to protect victims in family violence or domestic violence situations. The average duration of an order is 5 years.

A temporary protection order provides immediate protection for a victim in present danger. It serves to protect the victim from the perpetrator until the long-term protection order can be applied for and arranged.

Seeking legal advice will help determine which DVO you should apply for, or better understand which has been applied against you.

How does a domestic violence protection order impact me?

I have had a DVO applied against me

If someone has applied for a DVO against you, it is important to know the order conditions and what you are restricted from doing. Remember, a DVO is a civil court matter and at this stage will not appear on your criminal history.

Consulting a lawyer will help you answer important questions you will encounter when making decisions on legal matters. These will be unique to each person’s situation. Take for example:

Lawyer reading over document for DVO application

Frequently Asked Questions

The consequences of a DV conviction in Australia can include serious legal and personal ramifications. Legally, a DV conviction has the potential to result in fines, community service, or imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offence. Personally, a DV conviction can affect an individual’s ability to gain employment, particularly in fields where background checks are required, furthermore, it can impact family law matters such as child custody arrangements. Every case is different and it is essential to consult with a legal professional to receive personalised advice on potential consequences. 

Typically a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) is a civil record, therefore not appearing on your criminal history. However, a breach of a DVO is a serious criminal offence and can result in a criminal record. 


There are some automatic consequences to having a DVO made, such as the inability to hold a Weapons Licence.  

The evidence provided by the prosecution in DV matters can include witness statements, photographic evidence, medical reports, and other documentation supporting claims of domestic violence. The strength of the case of the prosecution will depend on the quality and relevance of the gathered evidence. It is advised to engage with a legal professional to help assess the prosecution’s case against you and develop a defence. 

To contest a DV application, the court will hear both the applicant’s and the respondent’s presented evidence. Deciding whether or not to contest will depend on various factors, including the evidence against you. Legal advice is crucial in understanding your rights, the potential outcomes of contesting the application, and the best course of action for your specific situation.

There is no one-shoe-fits-all approach, legal strategies can vary widely based on the specifics of each case. Defending against a DV application may involve challenging the evidence presented by the applicant, presenting counter-evidence, or negotiating the terms of the order. Skuse Graham Criminal Lawyers can provide tailored advice and representation to navigate these options effectively.

The cost of legal representation in DV matters can vary based on the time spent by the lawyer on your case. Some factors that may impact this include the complexity of the case, the length of the legal process, and the specific services required. Skuse Graham Criminal Lawyers is committed to providing transparent advice on expected costs and exploring all available options, including fixed fee arrangements where appropriate. Get in touch with our team to discuss pricing options. 

The duration of the legal process in DV matters varies greatly, depending on the complexity of the case, whether the application is contested, and factors out of your control like court schedules. For the most part, the process includes the application stage, interim order considerations, and a final hearing for contested cases. Skuse Graham Criminal Lawyers will guide you through each stage, ensuring you are informed and prepared.

Whilst DVOs are civil cases, it is a criminal offence to break or repeatedly break order conditions during the duration of the DVO. Breaches can lead to a criminal history and up to 5 years of jail time.

Do you need help with a domestic violence situation?

I need to apply for a DVO

If you or your family are victims in a domestic violence case, our lawyers can partner with you to provide legal support. We understand how sensitive and stressful these matters can be. We will provide total support through these matters while keeping you as comfortable as we can.

Someone has applied for a DVO against me

Domestic violence allegations are extremely serious. If you have had a DVO applied against you, naturally you will be stressed. This process can be difficult to undergo alone, and you may be easily influenced by the uninformed opinions of those close to you, even with best intentions.

Our lawyers can provide you with tailored support and transparent advice as we navigate this process together, working alongside experienced barristers to ensure the best outcomes for all clients.

Why choose Skuse Graham?

We are the local experts

Our lawyers have worked in courts throughout Queensland and New South Wales for over 25 years, and have established local knowledge, strong relationships and a well-regarded reputation. Specialising solely in criminal law, our team of lawyers have extensive experience in domestic violence cases, having succeeded in a number of high profile cases.

We tell it how it is

When it comes to domestic violence cases, you need lawyers you can trust to deliver straightforward, honest advice. We're transparent with you, even when the truth is hard.

24/7 Around the Clock Support

Domestic violence matters don't wait for business hours. We have lawyers on call 24/7, so there's always someone ready to help when you need it.

Fixed Fees & Funding

We believe legal representation should be accessible to all. Our lawyers provide fixed fee quotes and support clients seeking funding via Legal Aid Queensland.

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Reach out today if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence or has received a domestic violence order. We’re here to support you when you need it.

Or call us on 07 4580 1458