January 31, 2014

AVO legal advice: ADVO (Apprehended Domestic Violence Order) / APVO (Apprehended Personal Violence Order)

An AVO (Apprehended Violence Order) is ordered against a person if the court believes that another person feels threatened and fears for their safety.

If somebody is seeking an ADVO (Apprehended Domestic Violence Order) or an APVO (Apprehended Personal Violence Order) against you, you should seek legal advice from one of our experienced AVO lawyers in Sydney.

What is the difference between an ADVO and APVO?

  • An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is usually made where people involved are related, living together or are in an intimidate relationship.
  • An Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) is made where people involved are not related and do not have a domestic relationship, for example, if they are neighbours or co-workers.

How do I respond to the AVO application?

If you have been issued with an AVO, you can either consent to the order or defend the application in court. It is essential that you understand the potential consequences of having an AVO in place against you before making a decision. Speak to one of our experienced AVO lawyers to get advice on your legal options. In the situation that you choose to defend the application, we can represent you in court in Sydney or anywhere in NSW.

The police served me with an application for an AVO naming my partner as the protected person. My partner told me that she/he doesn’t want to go through it. Can she/he have it withdrawn?

An application for an AVO can be made by a police officer when they believe a person needs to be protected from violence or intimidating behaviour. Your partner can ask them to withdraw the application, however, it is ultimately up to the police prosecutor to make the decisions about the AVO. If you are facing such a situation, speak to us about your matter as we can assist you in negotiating with the police to have the application withdrawn.

If an AVO is made against me, will I get a criminal record ?

No. If an AVO is made against you, it will not be recorded on your criminal record. However, it is a criminal offence to breach an AVO.

What are the consequences of having an AVO made against me?

Although you will not get a criminal record, it is important to understand the consequences of having an AVO against you.

  • The AVO will list a set of conditions that you must follow, such as: being prohibited from approaching or contacting the protected person, or being prohibited from going to a certain premises. You must adhere to these conditions for the period specified in the AVO, and a failure to do so will amount to breaching the AVO.
  • An AVO is kept on police record and may affect your employment prospects and eligibility for certain licences (such as firearms and security licences).

What should I do if I have breached an AVO?

You should speak to an AVO lawyer as soon as possible. Breaching an AVO is a criminal offence that carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and/or a fine of 50 penalty units.

I was arrested for breaching an AVO condition that had been varied or dispensed, what can I do?

If you have been arrested or detained in relation to AVO conditions which have previously been varied, dispensed with or where such conditions no longer exist, the police may have acted outside of their lawful powers. You might be able to make a civil claim against the police for unlawful arrest. We recommend speaking to one of our civil solicitors to determine whether you can take civil action against the police.

Case Studies

Read about the cases where O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors have represented clients in defending AVO applications.

Speak to an Sydney Criminal Lawyer

Contact us on (02) 9261 4281 to book a free initial conference with one of our criminal lawyers. They will look through your AVO matter and provide you with advice on your legal options.

Note that the term used for an AVO in the United States is restraining order, and many people may refer to an AVO as a restraining order due to the influence of American popular culture. Indeed, these type of orders are known by various names within Australia:

New South Wales (NSW): Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs)

Victoria (VIC): Intervention Orders

Queensland (QLD): Protection Orders

Australian Capital Territory (ACT): Protection Orders

Northern Territory (NT): Domestic Violence Orders (DVOs)

South Australia (SA): Intervention Orders

Western Australia (WA): Violence Restraining Orders (VROs)

Tasmania (TAS): Family Violence Orders