An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a court order that is intended to protect one person from the threat of harassment or violence from another person.
The person in need of protection (PINOP) can apply for an AVO if they have a genuine reason to fear violence or harassment.
Police can also apply for an AVO on behalf of a PINOP.
Under the terms of an AVO, PINOP contact is usually limited, and the person served with the AVO may need to abide by certain restrictions.
The restrictions on contact may also apply to the PINOP’s family members, particularly children.
What restrictions will I be under if am served with an AVO?
The restrictions of an AVO will be specific to the individual order.
There are two types of AVOs, domestic (ADVO) and personal (APVO), which come with different types of restrictions depending on the situation.
Standard restrictions that are included in most AVOs include not intimidating, stalking, or harassing the PINOP.
There are also a number of other restrictions, which are optional and will only be added to the AVO where appropriate.
- Not contacting the PINOP by phone (telephone orders) or any other means.
- Not going within a certain distance of the PINOP, or their place of work or residence.
- Not living at the same address as the PINOP.
- Not approaching the PINOP at any time.
- Not entering the place of work or residence or other specified address where the PINOP may live or work.
- Not interfering with property belonging to the PINOP.
- Not contacting the PINOP through a third party.
- Not approaching the PINOP within 12 hours or consuming alcohol or drugs.
As well as having restricted contact with the PINOP, an AVO can also be extended to include anyone the PINOP has a domestic relationship with, which can include children and partners.
Being served with an AVO can have a serious impact on your lifestyle and restrict your access to your home.
It is important to seek advice from a criminal lawyer if someone is trying to take out an AVO against you.
If you don’t agree with an AVO being taken out against you, you have the opportunity to argue your case before the court.
What happens if I ignore the AVO?
If you disregard the terms of the AVO and contact the PINOP when you are not supposed to, you can find yourself in more serious trouble.
Being served with an AVO itself does not mean that you will have a criminal record or conviction, but breaking the terms of your AVO comes with more serious penalties.
If you have been served with an AVO, it is important that you abide by the restrictions for the duration of the order. AVOs can last any length of time, but generally they are taken out for a period of six months to two years.
Make sure you understand the restrictions if you have been served with an AVO.
PINOP contact rules may vary depending on the situation, and if you breach your AVO without realising, you can find yourself with a criminal record and potentially even facing a prison sentence.
If you have accidentally breached the terms of your AVO and are facing charges, make sure you find an experienced criminal lawyer to help you defend yourself, and hopefully avoid a harsher penalty.