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Contravening an Apprehended Violence Order

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:

  1. You contravened a prohibition or restriction specified in an Apprehended Violence Order (AV0), and
  2. You did so knowingly.

The section further provides that:

  1. Unless the court otherwise orders, you must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment if your contravention involved an act of violence
  2. A court must record its reasons for not imposing a prison sentence if your contravention involved an act of violence
  3. The requirement of imprisonment does not apply to those under the age of 18
  4. A ‘protected person’ under an AVO cannot be convicted of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring a contravention of the AVO
  5. 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:

  1. 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
  1. In the case of an AVO otherwise made, you were not served with a copy of the order
  2. Your contravention was necessary to attend a mediation under section 21 of the Act
  3. Your contravention was done in compliance with a property recovery order, or
  4. Your contravention occurred unknowingly.

Other defences to the charge include:

  1. Self-defence
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity.

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