For a number of reasons, many people become subject to Apprehended Violence Orders, or more commonly known as AVO’s. These are orders made by the court often as a protection from a person who has made a complaint against another, has been the subject of certain abusive behaviour or even to curb actions that can be classified as stalking.
In New South Wales we often see two types of AVO’s. These are known as Apprehended Domestic Violence Order(s) or Apprehended Personal Violence Orders. The major difference is the Domestic orders are made against a person in your family or perhaps a de facto whereas the Personal orders are made against perhaps a colleague, opposition sports person or in the event of stalking, a stranger.
AVO against you?
The court may make an AVO against you if they believe you may intimidate, harass, stalk or be physically or psychologically abusive to another person. The order often stops you from being within a certain distance of the complainant’s place of business, school or home and can also restrict you from contact them via telephone, text message, email or other electronic means. If you breach any conditions there can be consequences including:
A fine or up to $5,500; or
Term of imprisonment of up to two years.
If you are the subject of an AVO it is possible to defend it. However, it is the usual practice of the court in the interim to make interim AVO orders whilst the matter is adjourned to be heard at a later date.
Remember that contravening an AVO is a serious matter and is a separate criminal offence to that which you may be facing. Depending on the facts of your matter, there may be a defence available to you.
Defences to breaching an AVO:
Defences to breaching an AVO can include duress (being forced by other circumstances to do so) and self defence. Again, this is a very complicated and serious area of the law.
Please call our office on (02) 8251 0059 to discuss your AVO matter. If you require urgent advice out of business hours, please call or text Ms Trimmer on 0416 145 242.