On the seventh day of Christmas....you found someone climbing down your chimney

Posted by Luke Mitchell on 04 December 2014

What is an AVO?

An Apprehended Violence Order is a legal mechanism that makes it unlawful for the person subject to the order to do certain things towards the persons named as being protected in the order.

There are two types of Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO's), Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVO's) and Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO's) and they are both essentially the same Order with minor but important differences. The ADVO is used when there is a domestic relationship between the parties and the APVO is used when there is no domestic relationship between the parties.

AVO’s are put in place by the Court where they are satisfied that the person seeking protection has a reasonable fear of violence, intimidation (including harassment) and stalking by the subject or the order.

The Act provides that the following people can bring and application for an Order:

  • person in need of protection or,
  • guardian of the person in need of protection or,
  • a Police officer or,
  • A Court

The legislation also specifies offences in which the Police must automatically apply for an Order. An example of this is when a person is charged with Domestic Violence offence.

The Court has the power to make three types of Orders and they are Interim, Provisional or Final Orders.

Interim Orders are made in circumstances when an incident has occurred and the Police are concerned for the safety of a person. These Orders will usually be applied for by Police on behalf of the alleged victim if the alleged offence includes violence or fear.

Provisional Orders are made for a period of time until a matter can be listed for hearing or final orders are made. When a person is facing criminal charges in certain matter (EG domestic violence offences) the AVO matter will run with the substantial charge and will not be decided on until after the substantial matter is determined.

Final orders are made by a Court after a contested hearing has taken place or if the AVO is consented to by the parties

An AVO will specify what types of behaviours are prohibited such as not stalking or harassing the protected person, not approaching their place of work or home etc...

Here are some additional points to consider when dealing with AVO’s:

  1. having an AVO against you is not a criminal offence;
  2. the Court will consider any Family Court Orders in place when making an AVO;
  3. a person with an AVO against them cannot hold a firearm licence; and
  4. that breaching the AVO is a criminal offence.

If you wish to take out an AVO or you have been served with an Interim AVO Order and want to discuss what this means for you please contact us