Australian Criminal Law Group are Sydney’s best criminal lawyers to fight Apprehended Violence Orders.

We know how to beat Apprehended Violence Orders. Our criminal lawyers work with clients and their families to have them thrown out of court. We do not tell our clients to consent to them if we think that we can get them dismissed. Breaching an Apprehended Violence Order is a serious criminal offence. Apprehended Violence Orders should not be agreed to if you dispute the police allegations that have led to one being made.

Our criminal lawyers’ experience with Apprehended Violence Orders is that they are often unfair, unnecessary and based on untrue allegations designed to destroy your life. They are overused by police. Anyone can walk into a local court and apply for one. Their effect can be to ban you from your home and make it a crime for you to talk to your wife and kids. We fight them vigorously.

What is an Apprehended Violence Order?

An Apprehended Violence Order is an order made by a court against you where you allegedly make another person (known as the person in need of protection or PINOP) fear intimidation, harassment or for their safety.

All Apprehended Violence Orders provide you must not:

  • Assault, threaten, molest, harass, or interfere with the protected person.
  • Stalking or threaten the protected person; and
  • Intentionally or recklessly destroy or damage any property belonging to the protected person.

Other types of conditions that may be imposed include:

  • A condition that prevents you going to where the protected person lives (even if it is your home too), works, or studies.
  • A condition that you cannot approach or contact the protected person at all.
  • A condition that you cannot approach or contact the protected person within 12 hours of consuming alcohol or illicit drugs.

Is an Apprehended Violence Order a criminal offence?

An Apprehended Violence Order is not a criminal charge. It will not give you a criminal record. However, breaching an Apprehended Violence Order is a serious criminal offence that can lead to a criminal record and/or imprisonment.

Although an Apprehended Violence Order is not a criminal offence, there can be consequences beyond the making of the AVO itself. These include:

  • Any firearms you have must be given in to the police and you cannot get a new firearms licence until 10 years after the Apprehended Violence Order has ended.
  • An Apprehended Violence Order can also affect your licence to work as a security officer, a police officer or other specific jobs.
  • If the Apprehended Violence Order includes children the Commission for Children and Young People may be notified and your ability to work with children may be affected.

What happens if I breach an AVO?

Where an Apprehended Violence Order is made against you and you are accused of breaching the Apprehended Violence Order, you will be charged with a criminal offence. If you are found guilty you may be subject to considerable penalties. This includes a criminal record. The maximum penalty for breaching an Apprehended Violence Order is a fine of $5500.00 and/or two years imprisonment.

When an Apprehended Violence Order is breached with an act of physical violence the starting point in sentencing you will be imprisonment.

What is the law in relation to Apprehended Violence Orders?

For the court to make an Apprehended Violence Order against you, the police must prove on the balance of probabilities:

  • The protected person fears that you will be violent towards them, harass or intimidate them or stalk them (this is a subjective test, which means that it is based on what the protected person 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).

The fear is at the time the Apprehended Violence Order is being dealt with in court.

How long does an Apprehended Violence Order last?

The period of an Apprehended Violence Order is what the court believes is necessary to ensure the safety and protection of the protected person. The court will usually specify the period of the Apprehended Violence Order. If no expiry is specified, the order remains in force for 12 months from the date it was made.

Can an AVO be varied or revoked?

An Apprehended Violence Order can be varied or revoked if there has been a change in circumstances. The application needs to set out the reasons the person wants to vary or revoke the Apprehended Violence Order. 

Applications to vary or amend an Apprehended Violence Order need to be submitted to a local court. This can be done by a police officer, yourself or the protected person. Where the protected person is a child only the police can apply for the Apprehended Violence Order to be varied or revoked.

Can I apply for an Apprehended Violence Order?

You can apply for an Apprehended Violence Order by attending the local court and filling out an application. If you apply for an Apprehended Violence Order and the application fails, the costs can be awarded against you. It is best to apply for an Apprehended Violence Order with the assistance of one of our criminal lawyers

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