What is the penalty for breach of AVO?

When can a court grant an AVO?

The court can grant an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) to a Person In Need Of Protection (PINOP). They are granted if the court is satisfied that the PINOP has a genuine and reasonable fear for their safety. An AVO is often used in situations of domestic violence and any extreme neighborhood or workplace dispute that could become violent or destructive.

A person can apply for an AVO on their own behalf, but in some circumstances the Police will seek an AVO on behalf of the PINOP.


When will the court refuse to grant an AVO?

Here are some examples of when a court will refuse an AVO:

Scenario 1: David and Tina have been in a relationship for a period of time. David has ended the relationship. Tina sent David harassing text messages and emails for a few months after the break up. Four months ago Tina saw David at the shopping center and was verbally abusive to David because of the break up. David wants an AVO against Tina. In this scenario the court is unlikely to make an AVO because it has been four months since the confrontation at the shopping center and there have been no threats since then.

Scenario 2: Tim and Joe have been friends for many years. Tim began dating Joe’s ex-girlfriend. Joe has ended the relationship with Tim and has begun sending threatening text messages to Tim. Further Joe has recently started hanging around Tim’s house and even attended Tim’s soccer games. Yesterday, Joe went to Tim’s workplace and had started yelling at Tim. During the argument Joe pushed Tim to the floor. Tim is now scared and is seeking an AVO. In this scenario the court is likely to grant the AVO because Joe has been violent and because the events are recent.

The police can make an application for an AVO on behalf of the PINOP. Also a person can make a private application for an AVO.

Generally the PINOP will make an allegation to the police that the respondent has breach the conditions of the AVO. The police will investigate and if there is sufficient evidence the police will charge the respondent with the offence of contravening an AVO.


If the breach is proved what what is the penalty for breach of AVO?

If a person is found guilty of breaching an AVO, the penalties can range from a dismissal under Section 10, community service or even full time custody. If the breach of AVO involves an act of violence, the starting point is a term of imprisonment unless the court orders otherwise. Generally, there would have to be a serious breach of an AVO for the court to sentence an offender to a term of full time imprisonment.

For more information on the different types of penalties available to the court, click here.


Can I escape a conviction for breaching an AVO?

A breach of AVO is taken seriously by the courts. However if the breach is trivial or not too serious such as making a phone call to the PINOP in breach of an order or approaching a PINOP in a shopping center, the courts could deal with the matter under Section 10.

For more information on Section 10, and to see case studies where we have achieved Section 10, click here.


There are many different ways that a court can sentence you, if you plead guilty or are found guilty of breach of AVO. It is very important that you contact an experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer if you have been charged or are about to be charged for Breach of AVO.

Call LY Lawyers on 1300 595 299 for a free consultation.