Domestic Violence Offences

Apprehended Violence Order

What type of AVO?

There are two types of Apprehended Violence Order:

ADVO – Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders apply where there is or has been a domestic or intimate relationship between the defendant and alleged victim; and

APVO – Apprehended Personal Violence Orders apply where there has been no domestic or intimate relationship between the defendant and alleged victim e.g. your neighbour

What is an AVO

AVO’s are designed to protect a person, their family or property from assault, molestation, harassment, stalking, intimidation and a range of other related circumstances. They fall under civil law rather than criminal and hence the court only needs to decide if the allegation is more probable than not (51%) rather than beyond reasonable doubt. However if the allegation can prove a criminal offence then the police must charge you for that offence when an AVO is determined by the court. Consequently, if you are found guilty of a domestic violence offence then the court must make an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order against you unless there is good reason not to.

You do not need to have actually committed a domestic violence offence to have an order made against you, but the applicant needs to have reasonable fears that you will in the future.

If you have had an application made against you or you have breached an AVO order you should seek urgent legal advice. For your FREE appraisal of your individual case CALL 1800 438 688 and we will put you in touch with the best lawyer to assist you in your matter.

Your first court appearance.

When you first go to court you will be given two choices:

Consent to the Order.

If you agree to the AVO then it will take effect immediately and last for a period you agree to (usually 6 months – 2 years). You will not have to attend court again unless additional allegations are made against you and the police charge you with breaching an order.

If you agree that the applicant has genuine fears for their safety but not to the facts alleged, then you can consent without admissions. However, you should seek urgent independent legal advice before consenting to an order as the consequences can be serious especially if you later breach the order.

Not consenting to an Order.

If you do not agree that the applicant needs a court order for their protection then you can ask the court to list the matter for a hearing so that the court can make a decision based on the merits and available evidence. If you seek for the matter to be listed for a hearing then the court will set a timetable for evidence to be served by each party. This normally means a statement from the applicant, any witnesses and from the police who attended along with other supporting documentation such as photos of damage or injuries. When you defend an AVO you are also required to provide a statement of any evidence you plan to give in court to the other side, along with witness statements and any supporting documentation. The Court-ordered timetable is normally around 6 weeks to the hearing date and will specify each date on which a party is required to serve their evidence.

WARNING: If you disclose a criminal offence in your statement then your statement may be used against you in the proceeding criminal matter. If you are concerned about this, seek urgent legal advice and your lawyer can ask the Court to make a direction that you do not need to file a statement on the grounds of possible self-incrimination.

WARNING: Statements may also be used against you in family law proceedings and the occurrence of domestic violence is a factor that must be considered in determining child custody disputes. .

Defending an AVO: If you are the Respondent to an AVO application then one of our preferred lawyers with a track record of success can assist you in defending allegations against you.

You will need to show the Court that:

  1. the Applicant does not have a genuine fear that you will assault, molest, harass, threaten, stalk or otherwise interfere with them or their family; and
  2. that there are no reasonable grounds for such fears to exist.

A good lawyer will endeavour to have any AVO application withdrawn through negotiation, submission to police on the facts of the case or written undertakings to the court which make a commitment from both parties that neither will engage in behaviour that is likely to cause fear.

If you do agree to the AVO then a good lawyer can negotiate the terms of the order without any admission of guilt. It is important to understand that any AVO you agree to can be used against you in future criminal or family law proceedings and unfortunately AVO applications can be made as a means to influence other proceedings.

If you are considering agreeing to an AVO it is important to seek urgent legal advice so you understand you rights and the possible outcome or such an order. For your FREE appraisal of your individual case CALL 1800 438 688 and we will put you in touch with the best lawyer to assist you in your matter.

When you contact us we will be able to advise you of the best legal strategy to get the best possible outcome.

What else can we do for you?What else can we do for you?

Contravention of an AVO.

There are many ways to breach an AVO depending on the orders that are made. It is also common for an applicant to make a further complaint to police if you contact them without the intention to cause fear. If an order has been made against you, it is important to speak to your lawyer about what you can and cannot do and the best way to protect yourself from future allegations.

If you commit an act of physical violence in breach of an AVO it is likely that you will be sentenced to a custodial sentence. If you have been charged with a domestic violence offence in breach of an AVO you should seek urgent legal advice; depending on the circumstances of the incident you may have a defence that a good lawyer can present to the court.

For a FREE appraisal of your individual case CALL 1800 438 688 and we will put you in touch with the best lawyer to assist you in your matter.

Applying for ADVO or APVO

ADVOs are normally applied for by police or but you can also apply for one privately. There are many good reasons to apply for an AVO privately as police involvement can often lead to the irreparable breakdown of a family relationship or in the case of an APVO, where the police do not want to investigate the allegations..

AVO’s are granted by the court to safeguard ‘persons in need of protection’. If you have genuine fears for your safety & the welfare of you or your family and feel you need court- ordered protection we can put you in contact with an experienced solicitor with a track record of success to help you through the process.

For your FREE assessment of your AVO application CALL 1800 438 688 and we will put you in touch with the best lawyer to assist you in your matter.

Domestic Violence Orders & ADVOS Legislation

The content and any linked publications on this website are intended to only provide a general summary and overview on the subject of interest. It is not intended to be or constitute legal advice. Whilst we attempt to update the content the law is constantly changing on this basis we do not guarantee its currency. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the Content within this site or any other legal issue.