AVO, ADVO, APVO Offences

AVO, ADVO, and APVO Court orders safeguard against violence, threats, and harassment

AVO, ADVO, APVO Offences

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a court order designed to protect a person from violence, threats, harassment, or intimidation. ADVO specifically refers to an order issued in cases involving domestic violence, where the victim and the perpetrator have a domestic relationship. APVO, on the other hand, applies to situations where the victim and the perpetrator do not have a domestic relationship.

When a person is charged with domestic violence, it is the responsibility of the party seeking the order (frequently the police) to gather evidence and present it to the court.

When can an order be made?

In relation to an ADVO, this is set out particularly in s 16 or 17 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (the Act) or sections 19 & 20 of the Act for APVO. Generally, if a person has reasonable grounds to fear, and in fact fears the commission of a domestic violence offence on the balance of probabilities, an order can be made.

There is no need to establish an actual fear in certain circumstances including if person in need of protection (PINOP) is a child or is incapacitated. This is not only fear of an assault but can extend to intimidation (see below) which is widely defined by the Act.

The court has to balance the safety and protection of the PINOP (and any child) against the restrictions.

It is quite possible to have an ADVO or an APVO made even if a defendant does not intend harm, because the focus is on the PINOP’s reasonable fear.

The terms of the order may vary depending on the circumstances and can include restrictions on contact, location exclusion zones, or other conditions designed to protect the victim.

What should I do in the interim?

There is provision for the making of interim orders, and breach of those gives rise to the serious consequences for breach. Do not breach them. We can give you advice and represent you to make an application for an interim order or to vary the conditions. It can be more difficult to convince a court to change interim orders after it is listed for a hearing.

Please call us for a free initial 15-minute telephone consult so we can help.

How do I get an AVO?

Complain to the Police (especially if it is urgent) or go to your Local Court and make a complaint.

We can appear if the police will not do so but calling the police should be your first step. If you need further assistance, you can engage a lawyer to help with marshalling evidence and obtaining interim orders.

Will I have to go to Court?

In most cases involving domestic violence charges and the issuance of an AVO, ADVO, or APVO, it is likely that the parties involved will have to go to court. The court process allows for the presentation of evidence, examination of witnesses, and a determination of whether an order should be issued or modified.

What are the potential outcomes of an AVO application?

If a person is subject to an application for an order then they can do one of the following:-

  1. Admit the order (not recommended unless you have sought advice),
  2. Enter the orders without admission (where the matters in the complaint are not accepted) but this should only be done if the orders are suitable,
  3. Defend the complaint (Plea of Cause to Show). The matter will then be listed for a hearing. An interim order may be made and should be checked for practicability. The Court may order that statements be served and list the matter for a compliance check before it is listed for hearing. We can assist as it may be that the police have not got the full story.

It is possible to bring a cross application as often both parties to a dispute can have a fear of further intimidation. We can advise you about whether this should be done or whether it is just inflaming the situation.

What are the penalties for breach of an ADVO or APVO?

In New South Wales (NSW), the penalties for domestic violence offences, including breaches of Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs), can vary depending on the specific circumstances and severity of the offence.

Generally, a  breach of an order renders a person liable to Imprisonment for 2 years and a fine of 50 penalty units (presently $5,500), or both. If a breach involves violence, then unless the court orders, a term of imprisonment must be imposed. These penalties are subject to change, and the court has discretion in determining the appropriate penalty based on the circumstances of each case.

If you are charged with a breach of a restriction in an order you should get legal advice as soon as possible. Remember it is important to act quickly.

Other consequences resulting from an AVO

There are other consequences that can flow from the making of an AVO. For instance, an order can affect whether a person is entitled to have a gun. An order may also affect a person’s employment, such as if they are a security guard, police officer or require a “Blue card”.

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) can play a role in some Family Court cases, particularly those involving children or property. In addition to assistance to get or defend an AVO, Mason Lawyers have a very experienced Family Law team who can assist where matters cross into the Family Law area to ensure your rights and interests are protected. Whether you require help with AVO proceedings or any other Family Law concerns, we are committed to providing you with the highest level of assistance.

Are there related charges?

It may be that a person subject to an application for an AVO is charged with an offence such as assault or stalking or intimidation under section 13 of the Act.

In addition to an interim order, a person might have bail conditions regulating conduct pending a court appearance. In this case, a person should be careful to comply with their bail terms, otherwise they risk being arrested and may have trouble getting bail again.

What can I do?

Contact us. We can provide advice about your options and assist in preparing statements and appearing in court. We take some of the worry out of the procedural matters so you can concentrate on dealing with the issue.

If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence charges or requires specific legal advice, it’s important to consult with a qualified legal professional who can provide guidance tailored to their individual situation.

Our expert lawyer Larry Brazel has over 30 years of experience representing clients in all sorts of matters, the last 16 years of which were spent as a barrister in all manner of courts in both NSW and QLD. He is available to represent clients facing charges in both Local and District Court matters and offers a free initial 15-minute telephone consult to help you get started. Further we have an experienced family law team who can provide advice and assistance with all aspects of your matter.

Why choose us

Our criminal and traffic lawyer will provide you with honest, up-front advice that considers your full circumstances.

  • Over 30 years of Court experience
  • Friendly, approachable and compassionate
  • Experience in Local Courts, District Courts, and the Supreme Court
  • Affordable fees
  • Convenient locations – Belmont, Warners Bay and Newcastle

If you don’t exercise your rights, you don’t have any.

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