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:
- You contravened a prohibition or restriction specified in an Apprehended Violence Order made against you.
- The contravention was done or made knowingly.
- 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.
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: