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Once there is an Apprehended Violence Order in place, you are required to follow that order for the period of the order.  For example, if your ex-partner, family member or neighbour has had a court order that you not contact them by any means whatsoever, you must not call them or ask someone to call them on your behalf.  This means that you cannot even return their calls if you’ve missed their call!

Sometimes contraventions of AVO’s can be considered by courts as ‘technical’ breaches, or ‘minor’ contraventions, however the police take these matters very seriously, and you will often find yourself charged even for the most minor of contraventions.

Your options in dealing with these charges in court are:

Plead Not guilty

In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You contravened a prohibition or restriction specified in an Apprehended Violence Order made against you.
  2. The contravention was done or made knowingly.
  3. If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.

Defences you may have

If the above elements can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if any of the following defences can be established:

Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.

Plead Guilty

If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence. Generally, you will recieve a 25% discount off your sentence if you plead guilty at the first opportunity.

The offence of Contravening an Apprehended Violence Order carries a maximum penalty of a fine of $5,500.00 and/or 2 years imprisonment. However, Contravening an Apprehended Violence Order is an offence that is often dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentence Procedure) Act, meaning no conviction will be recorded, there is no other penalty and you will have no criminal record. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

The type of sentence you will likely recieve will depend on the seriousness of the contravention, your criminal record and your personal circumstances.

Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are:

Our client was charged with Contravene Domestic Violence Order. The client had sent a number of harassing text messages to his ex-partner.

Our client was also on two good behavior bonds for an assault occasioning actually bodily harm and offence of using carriage service to threaten to kill, all involving the same victim. The offences were committed only three weeks after the AVO was made.

One of our solicitors travelled to Wollongong Local Court to argue our client’s case before Magistrate Viney.

We argued that the breach was a minor breach and should be dealt with by way of a conviction with no further penalty. The Magistrate agreed.

In relation to the breach of the two good behavior bonds the Magistrate was of the view that the bonds should be revoked and community service should be imposed.

Our solicitor argued strongly against a community service order. The court agreed with the solicitors submissions and ordered that the bonds be revoked. The client was placed on two fresh good behavior bonds.

The client escaped a community service order and was very happy with the result.

He was extremely fortunate not to receive a heavier penalty for the breaches of the bonds.

Our client had an AVO in place against him that included that he not contact the victim by any means.

During the course of the AVO period, it was alleged that our client breached the AVO more than 100 times, by sending harassing emails to the victim.

We negotiated with the prosecution to reduce the number of emails sent to the victim, ultimately reducing the number of breaches to 40. Our client then pleaded guilty to an amended set of facts.

The matter appeared before Magistrate Holdsworth at Liverpool Local Court in May 2015. Our client’s case was diligently prepared with supporting evidence to argue his Section 10 application. This included character witness evidence, those of who also attended court on the day of sentencing. Also was evidence of overseas work travel, that which would not be possible if with a criminal conviction.

Ms. Holdsworth agreed with our submission, and proceeded to place our client on a Section 10 good behaviour bond.

Our client was before the Court charged with stalk/intimidate intend fear of physical harm, use carriage service to menace/harass/offence x 2 and contravene ADVO. The client faced a possible 2 years imprisonment.

Our client was 34 years old and suffered from mental health issues and had a chequered criminal record.
Our client was sentenced at Mt Druitt Local Court before Magistrate Hiatt. It was argued that our client was in an extremely dysfunctional relationship and was suffering from mental health issues.

The Magistrate took all these considerations into account and dealt with the matter with two s 9 good behaviour bonds for 18 months, 150 hours of community service and a 4 month s 12 suspended sentence.

Our client was extremely relieved with this outcome as it meant he was able to avoid a term of imprisonment.