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AVOs and Domestic Violence

If you are charged with a domestic violence offence, an application for an AVO will be made at the same time. Domestic violence offences are offences relating to stalking, intimidating, threatening, stalking or assaulting a person with whom you are, or have been, in a domestic relationship. 

This includes:

  • If you are married or de-facto
  • If you are related
  • If you live in the same house

If you plead guilty to a domestic violence offence, an AVO will automatically be imposed by the Court regardless of the sentence. Therefore, even if your domestic violence offence is dismissed pursuant to section 10, an AVO will be made because you pleaded guilty because the Court does not have the discretion to dismiss the AVO on a guilty plea for domestic violence offences.

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is an order of the Court made against a defendant restraining that person from engaging in certain conduct towards a “person in need of protection” (“PINOP”). Generally, the AVO will prevent the defendant from conduct such as stalking, harassing, intimidating, threatening or abusing the PINOP.

An AVO usually lasts for a period of 12-24 months.

An application for an AVO can also be made in circumstances where there are no criminal charges laid. It is important to know that an AVO on its own is not a criminal charge and does not appear on your criminal record.

If an application for an AVO is made against you by the police or the PINOP themselves, you can either contest the application or you can consent to the orders being made “without admissions” (meaning that the court will make the orders requested in the application with your consent, however, you will not be making any admissions of the alleged facts which the application is based upon).

Regardless of how you wish to deal with an AVO, there are a number of considerations you need to take into account when faced with an application. You should never consent to an AVO just for convenience sake and it is important that you contact one of our experienced criminal lawyers to get the right advice as soon as possible.