What Happens If I Breach A Forced Marriage Protection Order?
A Forced Marriage Protection Order can be made by a court to protect a person from being forced into a marriage.
Previously, breach of such an order could only result in contempt of court. Now, under section 120 of the Family Law Act 1996, it is a criminal offence.
A person can only be guilty of breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order if they were aware of the order’s existence at the time of the breach.
A person being prosecuted for the criminal offence of breaching an order cannot also be prosecuted for contempt of court. If the breach has already been punished as a contempt of court, it cannot then also be criminally prosecuted.
The offence came into force on 16 June 2014 and has no retrospective power. It applies only to offences occurring on or after that date, even if the order was made prior to that date.
This is an offence that a person can be arrested for and the maximum penalty for it is 5 years’ imprisonment.
If you are accused of breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order, it is vital that you seek urgent advice from a solicitor for forced marriage. This area of law is not common and specialist advice should be sought.
Forrest Williams are solicitors for forced marriage – call us now for expert advice on 01623 397200.Tags: forced marriage, forced marriage protection order