Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs)
An apprehended violence order (AVO) is an order that stops the behaviour of one person, to protect another person. It is a formal order made by the Local Court which means the police can arrest and charge a person that they believe has breached a condition in an AVO. A breach or contravention of a condition in an AVO is a criminal offence and is taken very seriously by the Courts.
AVOs can either be domestic or personal. Most AVOs are applied for by the police after a domestic or personal violence incident, but they can also be applied for by individuals on their own behalf if they feel they need protection from another person . A person who has had an AVO taken out against them will be required to attend the Local Court where they will need to tell a Magistrate whether they wish to accept a final AVO being made against them for a period of time or whether they wish to defend the making of a final AVO.
These types of AVOs are made when it is considered at law that the parties subject to the AVO are in a “domestic relationship” together. Domestic relationships are defined very broadly and it doesn’t necessarily mean that there has been an intimate relationship between the two people involved. A “domestic relationship” for the purposes of an ADVO being made by a court is defined under section 5 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 and includes the following:
- Defacto partners
- People who are or have been in an intimate personal relationship together
- Relatives, such as siblings, children, grandchildren and cousins etc.
- People living in the same household together (room mates)
- The current and ex-partner of another person
Police must apply for an ADVO if a domestic violence offence has been committed, if one is being committed or if one is imminent or likely to be committed.
If an ADVO is accompanying a criminal charge, and a plea of guilty is entered to that charge, then the court is obliged to make the ADVO final unless there is a good reason not to.
Personal AVOs are made where there isn’t a domestic relationship between the parties.
Personal or private AVOs usually occur between neighbours or friends.
They are not initiated by the police but the police usually serve the AVO for an applicant.
Anyone can make an application for an APVO, and they must prove on the balance of probabilities that they fear an offence, that their fears are reasonably and that the conduct warrants the making of a final APVO.
What happens at court will depend upon the kind of AVO you have been served with, and whether or not you have been charged with a criminal offence too.
On the first court date, if there are no charges, you will be asked if you want to consent to the AVO or if you want to contest the AVO.
If you decide to contest the AVO then the court will order a timetable of important dates. These dates are:
- The Applicant file and serve their evidence:
In most cases the Applicant is the police. The first important date on the timetable is the date they have to file their evidence. Usually this involves the Applicant sending their statements and any other material they’re going to rely upon to the court registry.
- The Defence file and serve their evidence:
The second important date in the timetable is the date where the Defence have to respond to the evidence of the Applicant. You or your lawyer will prepare statements and evidence you intend to rely on at a hearing and file it at the court registry.
- Compliance check date:
Before the matter can go to a hearing, the court makes sure that everyone has complied with the timetable at a compliance check mention date. If a party hasn’t complied with the timetable then an argument can be made to either finalise or dismiss the AVO.
At a hearing for an ADVO or APVO the Magistrate will read all of the evidence filed by the parties. Witnesses then need to give evidence and are then often cross examined. The Magistrate will then decide, on the balance of probabilities, if they should make a final AVO or not.
Yes. An interested party in the APVO or ADVO may apply to vary it. An interested person can be the police, the applicant, the defendant or the protected person.
Applications to vary or revoke AVOs are often given timetables for everyone to file and serve their evidence before they are given a hearing date.
Where the police have made an applicant for an AVO on behalf of someone else, that person is known as the ‘Person in Need of Protection’ or PINOP.
A PINOP is not able to drop an AVO or make the police withdraw their application, even if they tell the police they don’t want it.
Joshua Blom Lawyers are experts in helping people deal with their AVOs.
We are with you throughout the entire process, from the initial free consultation, to negotiating with the police, drafting statements, and most importantly to advocating on your behalf at court.
Get An Expert On Your Side
Being served with an AVO can be a life-changing and devastating experience, especially for people that have had little to no experience or interaction with the criminal justice system.
That is why it is important to speak to an expert AVO lawyer before attending court or making any decisions when it comes to how you respond to an AVO.
We offer free, no obligation consultations with one of our expert AVO lawyers, so you can ensure you know your rights and where you stand.
If You've Been Served With an AVO
It is important you speak with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Agreeing to an AVO could have significant
consequences on your future.
Joshua Blom Lawyers are AVO experts. We act for both defendants and persons in need of protection regularly.
Our firm was started by an ex police officer who not only prosecuted domestic violence matters, but also investigated them. We know the process back to front, and we’ll work with you to get you the best possible outcome in all of the circumstances.
Call us now to find out how we can help you.