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AVO/DVO’s can have family law & serious employment implications.

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What Does An AVO/DVO Mean?

If you or someone you know is charged with a domestic violence offence our expert lawyers can help you navigate through these testing times.

Domestic violence offences in New South Wales are covered by the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007, which this document will refer to as The Act.

The justice system is dealing with increasing instances of domestic violence offences. Domestic violence includes an array of criminal behaviours such as physical, verbal or emotional abuse. The common theme is that the victim either is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the accused. Domestic violence offences are heard before a Magistrate in the Local Court.

Being charged with a domestic violence offence can result in serious consequences. Such consequences can be the inability to work with certain categories of person, the seizure of firearms, the inability to contact the victim and even restricted travel to certain international destinations.

Sadly, domestic violence allegations are used by vindictive “victims” to further other legal matters, such as Family Law proceedings.

Common methods of proceeding is to contest the charge in a Defended Hearing or consent without admissions. Whichever way you wish to proceed Goldman lawyers has a 24 hour a day crime line to provide you with initial advice. Call 1300 343 560 to speak to a specialised criminal lawyer.

Call our criminal defence team for a no-fee first appointment to learn more about your rights and legal options. Check the information below on domestic violence offence for general information before you call.

Relationship With The Victim

A domestic relationship in defined in section 5 of The Act. Broadly speaking it refers to two persons who have: been in an intimate relationship, is or have lived together, a relative of a person who otherwise meets the definition or a person who previously held a domestic relationship with the victim.

If the victim does not satisfy the definition of domestic relationship, an application can be made for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order. Common examples are neighbours or colleagues.

For example a person’s ex-partner and current partner would have a domestic relationship with each other for the purposes of The Act, even if they have never met.

AVO’s & Domestic Violence Stats

Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person 2016 – 2021*

Behaviours Which Call For Protection

  • AVO’s are made by the court to protect named persons from violence, intimidation and harassment.

  • Section 4 of The Act outlines the criminal offences which satisfy the meaning of a personal violence offence; generally speaking, if you are charged with one of the listed offences, an application for ADVO will accompany that charge. An AVO can be applied for without an accompanying charge.

  • It is important to remember that bullying, stalking, intimidation and harassment constitute grounds for an AVO. Therefore actions taken on the internet or over the phone often give rise to an application for an AVO

Do You Have A Defence?

  • Defences to a charge of contravening an AVO condition do exist.

  • It is possible to accidently breach an AVO. For example, a defendant may enter a shopping centre without knowing that the protected person is inside. Whilst this may give rise to a charge of breach AVO condition, the police would need to establish that you knew the protected person was inside: you will not be found guilty of breaching an AVO unless you knowingly breach a condition of an AVO.

  • Another defence is that the defendant was not aware of the AVO. A defendant must be properly served the AVO or be present in court when it is made.

  • Our team has the expertise to help establish a defence to a contravention charge. Don’t delay and contact our expert criminal lawyers 24 hours a day on 1300 343 560.

Our Senior Criminal Lawyers

Jaswinder (Jas) Sekhon

Jaswinder (Jas) Sekhon

Managing Director

Jaswinder has a fresh revitalizing approach to law which has led to outstanding results. Admitted to practice as a solicitor/barrister in four countries, with over 30 years’ experience in wealth, finance, tax, trusts, funds, and structures. Jas equally enjoys strategic work for clients in disputes, emerging, criminal or family law.

Mathew Nott

Mathew Nott

Practice Area Head Criminal Law Division

Mathew handles the tough charge negotiation with police and brings innovate thinking to defending our clients in Court. His record is outstanding. He will stand shoulder to shoulder with you from the beginning to the end of your matter.

NSW AVO Sentence Stats - 2016-2021

Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person

Who Can Apply for a AVO?

  • An individual can apply to the court for ADVO. It is more common that the police will make an application on behalf of the victim.

  • In some circumstances the police must apply for an AVO if they suspect on a reasonable basis that: the defendant has, or is likely to, commit a domestic violence offence against the victim; the defendant has recently, or is expected to, stalk, intimidate or harass the victim; the defendant has committed or will commit an offence against a child or young person.

  • A court is required to make an order if the defendant has been charged with a serious offence. Such offences include a domestic violence offence, wounding or grievous bodily harm and sexual assault.

Provisional, Interim & Final AVOs

  • Once an application for an AVO is before a Magistrate the police can request a Provisional AVO. Provisional AVOs are temporary in nature and is in force from the moment it is properly served on the defendant. A future court date will be set whereby the court will determine whether or not the Provisional AVO becomes Final (permanent) or Interim (ongoing until a further date).

  • If the Defendant does not consent to the making of the AVO then the court is likely to make an Interim AVO which is in place until either a Final AVO is made, or the matter is dismissed/ withdrawn.

    Interim and Provisional AVOs have the same effect as a Final AVO. Breaching either a Provisional or Interim AVO is just as serious as breaching a Final AVO.

  • If you or someone you know has been served with a Provisional or Interim AVO, don’t delay! Contact our expert criminal lawyers 24 hours a on 1300 343 560.

When Will The Court Make A Final AVO?

The Court will make a Final AVO if it is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the protected person fears that the defendant will be: violent towards them; harass, intimidate or stalk the victim; or damage their property. The fear must be reasonable.

The balance of probabilities means that it is more likely to be the case than less likely. This test is significantly “lower” than to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt.

Every AVO Is The Same?

The court has available to it multiple types of conditions which it can apply to an AVO. For example condition 1 is always imposed. Condition 1 is that:

1. The defendant must not do any of the following to , or anyone a domestic relationship with:

  • Assault or threaten ,

  • stalk, harass or intimidate , and

  • deliberately or recklessly destroy or damage anything that belongs to .

  • Other conditions include restrictions on where the defendant may not reside, people they may not contact, places they cannot come within a certain distance or restrictions on the time which must pass after drinking or taking drugs before they can be in the company of certain people.

Consequences For Breaching An AVO

The offence of contravening an AVO is outlined in section 14 of The Act. If a defendant is convicted of breaching an AVO they face a fine of $5,500 and/or a two-year imprisonment term.

Our expert criminal lawyers are here to assist you deal with any suggested breach of AVO. Speak with our team now by calling 1300 343 560.

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*© NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics