An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is an order made by the court that prohibits certain behaviour by the person against whom the AVO is sought. An AVO is designed to protect the person making the complaint from future harassment, intimidation, stalking or violence.

There are two types of Apprehended Violence Orders:

  1. An Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO)

  2. An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO)

An AVO is made in the case where the victim has a reasonable fear for their safety. This standard is objective and will look to whether a reasonable person would have reasonable fear in the circumstances.

The court can also make other orders as it sees fit, for example they may order that the defendant is not to contact the protected person or come within a specific distance of their home or workplace.

The difference between and ADVO and a APVO

To be classified as an ADVO (Apprehended Domestic Violence Order) the person seeking protection must have been in a domestic relationship with the defendant. “Domestic relationship” is defined very broadly and can even include a housemate or a carer. An APVO (Apprehended Personal Violence Order) covers all other relationships.

Applying for an ADVO/APVO

The police or an individual who is seeking protection can apply for an AVO. Applications brought by the police can seek to protect more than one person. An application brought by an individual is to be for the protection of themselves and can include the protection of a person with whom they are in a domestic relationship.

There are two possible actions to take where an AVO has been taken out against you:

  1. You can consent to the AVO being made and you will be required to adhere to the orders the court has made; or

  2. Defend against the AVO.

Before making any decisions about whether to defend or not, it would be prudent to obtain legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you know exactly where you stand.

If it is an APVO matter you may wish to consider mediation. Again obtaining legal advice would be beneficial.

Defending the AVO

A first instance a provisional or interim AVO will be granted. This stays in place until the court has heard the matter and determines whether a final order should be granted.

Although a provisional AVO is not a permanent order, it must be strictly adhered to, as breaching a provisional AVO is an offence. 

Consenting to the AVO being granted

You can choose to consent to an AVO being made without making admissions. This means you accept the order but do not have to admit to what you have been accused of and there will not be a hearing.

Duration of the AVO

The court will specify how long the AVO is to run, generally they are about 2 years in length.

Will an AVO show up on my criminal record?

No, an AVO is not a criminal charge.

Contravening an AVO

Although it is not a criminal charge to have an AVO in place against you, if you contravene an AVO this is a crime that can lead to a criminal charge. The maximum penalty for disobeying an AVO is 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,500.

AVOs are a serious matter and they tend to crop up quite frequently. If you are served with an AVO it is best to seek legal advice, so you can fully understand the implications of the AVO, as if you breach it, you may face criminal charges.

Speak with a Lawyer. Get the Right Advice

Our criminal lawyers will ensure you receive the best legal representation, whatever your criminal or traffic case may be.

Call Now - 0418 409 099