Contravening an Apprehended Violence Order is an offence under section 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007, which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- You contravened a prohibition or restriction specified in an Apprehended Violence Order (AV0), and
- You did so knowingly.
The section further provides that:
- Unless the court otherwise orders, you must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment if your contravention involved an act of violence
- A court must record its reasons for not imposing a prison sentence if your contravention involved an act of violence
- The requirement of imprisonment does not apply to those under the age of 18
- A ‘protected person’ under an AVO cannot be convicted of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring a contravention of the AVO
- A police officer must make a written record of any decision not to initiate criminal proceedings.
If the officer suspects on reasonable grounds that a contravention has occurred, or if an alleged contravention has been reported to the officer.
You are not guilty of the offence if:
- In the case of an AVO made by a court:
- You were not present in court when the order was made, or
- You were not served with a copy of the order
- In the case of an AVO otherwise made, you were not served with a copy of the order
- Your contravention was necessary to attend a mediation under section 21 of the Act
- Your contravention was done in compliance with a property recovery order, or
- Your contravention occurred unknowingly.
Other defences to the charge include:
- Duress, and