Apprehended Violence Order Lawyers (AVOs) in NSW
In Sydney NSW, an Apprehended Violence Order or commonly abbreviated to AVO can make a significant impact on your life. It may restrict your ability to keep in contact with your loved ones as well as adversely affect your relationships.
We can help fight them if they are unfairly imposed and get them dismissed so that you can get on with life and move forward with your family
What is an AVO or Restraining Order?
An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is an order made against you by the court to protect a “person in need of protection” this is can be abbreviated to (PINOP). These orders serve the purpose of providing protection to a person who has a reasonable and founded fear that someone will perform an act of violence towards them. A common example of this is where violence has occurred and the PINOP is concerned that it may occur again.
However, apprehended violence orders may also be used for improper reasons.
Here is an example below:
A spouse or partner may use it to get revenge or further their personal interests. This may include furthering their own family or civil law proceedings as well as visa applications.
There are 3 types of AVO’s in NSW:
Police AVOs may be made when the police are concerned for the safety of the PINOP. These are often related to cases of assault and sexual assault. In such circumstances an AVO may be issued even if the PINOP has not requested one.
Private – Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO)
An ADVO can be issued for domestic violence if a familial relationship exists such as de-facto or spousal relationships. This also includes living in the same residence (parent and child), caregiving relationships and relatives.
Private – Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO)
An APVO can be issued where there is no familial relationship and includes neighbors, work colleagues and friends or acquaintances.
How will I be affected by an AVO?
Not only are your relationships with the PINOP affected it may also affect your relationships with your family and friends. This can indirectly affect your ability to maintain a consistent connection with your children or extended family.
Whilst you will not receive a criminal record it can still impact your professional life. Any outstanding AVO’s will show up if a background check is performed on you. This will affect your work opportunities where children or caregiving are involved.
What is the process of getting an AVO?
Here is a summary of the likely process that you will do through if someone applied for an AVO against you.
A person applies for an apprehended violence order form against you.
These forms are available on the Law Access NSW website and are to be filed against you by the PINOP.
An initial court date is set to decide the AVO.
This date is known as a mention. This will usually be held in a local court in NSW. Here the Magistrate will want to know whether you are intending to defend the AVO or are prepared to consent to it. You should consider whether or not you will want to consent as there will be some negative ramifications that we mentioned above. If you consent you will have to abide to specific conditions and make sure you are not in breach of them.
There are two ways to consent to an AVO:
- You may consent without an admission of guilt
- You may consent with an admission of guilt
Defending an AVO:
If you choose to defend the AVO the court will set a hearing date to determine if the AVO is necessary. An interim AVO may be issue temporarily up until the hearing date if necessary. It is strongly recommended to choose a top Sydney criminal lawyer that deals with these matters.
Service of statements:
During the lead up to the hearing you will need to attend court to serve statements between the parties
At the hearing the magistrate will read the statements provided by both parties and allow them to be cross-examined
Decision by Magistrate:
After hearing all the evidence the magistrate will then make a decision on whether the AVO will be granted or dismissed
Decision if you are not present at hearing:
If a party is not present at the hearing the court may continue to hear the matter and make a decision, adjourn the hearing to a later date, issue a warrant for your arrest, issue a warrant for the applicants arrest or set an interim order until the next hearing date.
How to get an AVO Lifted:
In most cases for a court to issue one of these there must be reasonable grounds that the PINOP is in fear of a violent offence against them.
The applicant is required to prove this based on a balance of probabilities. In such circumstances AVOs can be defended in the following ways:
- Providing evidence that the applicant does not fear being stalked, intimidated or a violent act being committed against them by the person the AVO is directed at. Such evidence includes phone records and any written correspondence.
- Showing that the applicant does not have reasonable grounds to fear the defendant
- Showing that the feared conduct is not serious enough to justify an AVO. If the conduct is question can be proved to be trivial an AVO will not be granted.
Contravening or breaching AVO Conditions:
Contravene of the conditions can have serious consequences.
An example if you have a condition that states you may not contact the PINOP in any way, you will be in breach of that condition if you attempt to contact that person. This includes communicating with the person online or in person.
In order for the prosecution to prove the breach two elements will be looked at:
- The actual condition that was breached
- That it was breached knowingly and not accidentally
The maximum penalty for breaching an apprehended violence order is a fine of $5000 and imprisonment for up to 2 years. If you are concerned or have breached your conditions it is strongly recommended that you contact us.
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