How to Apply for an Apprehended Violence Order
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Who applies for an Apprehended Violence Order?
Whilst we defend those alleged to have committed criminal offences, we strongly believe that those who are victims of domestic violence deserve strong legal representation.
Outside the courts, we are regular speakers at forums conducted by Sydney South West Legal (Staying At Home Leaving Violence), where we provide free legal advice clinics to victims of domestic violence.
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.
Sometimes, a person in need of protection (PINOP), may not want to deal with the police when seeking an AVO.
This is when we can help.
We frequently apply for Apprehended Violence Orders on behalf of our clients and represent them in Court to have the Apprehended Violence Orders made.
What happens if I am the Applicant in an application for an Apprehended Violence Order?
Depending on what you and the Defendant want to do, the matter may proceed in the following ways:
- The Defendant may give a formal promise (undertaking) to the court to stop the behaviour causing you to fear them and no Apprehended Violence Order will be made;
- The Defendant agrees with the Apprehended Violence Order being made, without admitting any of the allegations, and a Final Apprehended Violence Order is made against them;
- You agree with the Apprehended Violence Order being made, admitting the allegations, and a Final Apprehended Violence Order is made against;
- The Defendant fights 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.
In cases where an Application is made privately by a civilian, the Applicant may be ordered to serve statements comprised of evidence against the Defendant and the Defendant may be ordered to serve statements in response.
What happens if the Defendant does not agree to the Apprehended Violence Order being made?
Our solicitors frequently and successfully apply for Apprehended Violence Orders on behalf of our clients and represent them in court to have the Apprehended Violence Orders made.
In order for the court to make an Apprehended Violence Order against a Defendant, the Applicant must establish on the balance of probabilities:
- You fear that the Defendant will be violent towards you, harass you or intimidate or stalk you (this is a subjective test, which means that it is based on what you actually feel), and
- Your 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 your situation would feel the same as you).
What happens if an Apprehended Violence Order is made against the Defendant?
If an AVO is made against the Defendant, he or she will not be given a criminal record. However, if the Defendant breaches the Apprehended Violence Order it is a criminal offence. The maximum penalty for breaching an Apprehended Violence Order is a fine of $5,500.00 and/or two years imprisonment. An AVO may also place some restrictions on the Defendant, such as stopping them from having a firearms or security licence, or working with children.