A contravention of a Domestic Violence Order is a criminal offence and is punishable by a a hefty fine or a maximum 3 years imprisonment, or 5 years if there has been a previous offence. Being convicted of a breach of DVO can seriously impact parenting proceedings and make it very difficult to continue in a co-parenting situation. When you plead guilty to a breach or domestic violence offence, the court has the power to amend or extend the DVO, even if neither party wants the amendment. You are able to plead guilty to the charge, contest the charge or attempt to negotiate the charge. When you are charged with contravening a DVO, the police have control of the proceedings so even if the aggrieved does not want you to be charged, it will be up to the police whether they continue with the proceedings. This is the same for domestic violence offences such as wilful damage, common assault, assault occasioning bodily harm and sexual assault. A conviction for a domestic violence offence will have negative consequences on any parenting proceedings so it is extremely important that you obtain comprehensive legal advice about how to deal with your charge.