Defending an Apprehended Violence Order
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Who applies for an Apprehended Violence Order?
An application for an AVO can be made by:
- A police officer on behalf of the protected person; or
- Any person above the age of 16 who lodges an application with the Local Court to be the protected person under an Apprehended Violence Order
What happens if I am the Defendant in an application for an Apprehended Violence Order?
Depending on what you and the applicant want to do, the matter may proceed in the following ways:
- Give a formal promise (undertaking) to the court to stop the behaviour causing the protected person to fear you and no Apprehended Violence Order will be made;
- You agree with the Apprehended Violence Order being made, without admitting any of the allegations, and a Final Apprehended Violence Order will be made;
- You agree with the Apprehended Violence Order being made, admitting the allegations, and a Final Apprehended Violence Order will be made;
- Defend the application for the Apprehended Violence Order being made in a hearing at Court and a Magistrate decides whether to make the Apprehended Violence Order or dismiss the Application.
If the police applied for the AVO on behalf of the protected person, they will represent the protected person. You will receive a Brief of Evidence against you. In cases where an Application is made privately by a civilian, the Applicant may be ordered to serve statements comprised of evidence against you and you may be ordered to serve statements in your defence.
What happens at court in defending an Apprehended Violence Order?
Our solicitors frequently and successfully defend our clients against Apprehended Violence Orders made by police and other persons.
Having an Apprehended Violence Order made against you can have serious consequences and if you are not guilty of the conduct being alleged against then it is unwise to consent the Apprehended Violence Order being made.
In order for the court to make an Apprehended Violence Order against you, the Applicant must establish on the balance of probabilities:
- They, or the protected person fears that the Defendant will be violent towards them, harass them or intimidate or stalk them (this is a subjective test, which means that it is based on what the protected person actually feels), and
- The protected person’s fear is based on reasonable grounds (this is an objective test, which means it is based on whether the court believes that a person in the protected person’s situation would feel the same as the protected person).
What happens if an Apprehended Violence Order is made against me?
If an Apprehended Violence Order is made against you, you are not given a criminal record. However, if you breach an Apprehended Violence Order it is a criminal offence. The maximum penalty for breaching an Apprehended Violence Order is a fine of $5500.00 and/or two years imprisonment. An Apprehended Violence Order may also place some restrictions on you, such as stopping you from having a firearms or security licence, or working with children.