Project Description

Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO)

Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs)

If someone is seeking an apprehended violence order, or AVO, against you, you may feel blindsided or angry. But it’s important that you don’t ignore it. You will receive a notice to attend Court on a particular date for ‘mention’. If you do not turn up, the AVO may be made without you there.

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    Before your criminal court hearing it’s important to speak to a criminal law solicitor. Often, an AVO application occurs if you have also been charged with assault, have a contentious family law case before the courts, or both. That’s why our full service law firm is ideally placed to help you. We have many years of experience helping clients with family law and criminal law problems. Our experienced criminal law solicitors can help you at every step of the AVO process, while our Accredited Family Law Specialists will help you decide on the best strategy to achieve your overall goals. We can help you by:

    • Explaining what the application means and the steps you need to follow.
    • Giving you advice on whether to consent or not consent to the AVO. This may include taking into account any other charges or cases that you have before the Court and what you want to achieve overall.
    • Representing you at any hearings including interim hearings and the final hearing.
    • Helping prepare your statement and your witnesses’ statements to support your defence.
    • Understand how an AVO may affect other legal issues that you’re dealing with.

    Apprehended Violence Orders or AVO

    An AVO isn’t a criminal charge. That means that if an AVO is granted against you, you won’t get a criminal record. But if there is an AVO against you it might affect your employment or make it harder for you to get a job in certain industries. If you have a family law case before the Court, it might also affect that case.

    When an application is made against you, you have two options. You can consent to the AVO or not consent. You can consent to the AVO even if you don’t agree with the reasons. This might be simply to keep the peace, or as part of negotiations with the other side – especially if you also have a family law case running.

    If you choose not to consent, the case will be scheduled for a final criminal court hearing. On that date, the Court will hear evidence from the parties and decide whether to make an AVO. In the meantime, the Court may make an interim AVO against you and will decide what conditions are necessary. There might be an interim hearing to decide this, or the Court may decide not to make an order and proceed to the final hearing.

    Before the final hearing, both of you must serve statements on one another. This means giving your statement (and any witnesses in your support) to the other party so that they know what you intend to argue in court. It’s important to make sure that you stick to the timelines given by the Court.

    At the hearing, you and your witnesses may be asked to give evidence and could be cross-examined by the other side. It’s important that you are prepared to give evidence and have received proper legal advice about how to present your case. Your witnesses should also be prepared so that you’re able to build a coherent narrative that supports your argument or defence.

    If the AVO is granted against you, you must comply with the conditions in it. Some of these are ‘mandatory’ conditions and appear in every AVO. The mandatory conditions state that you must not:

    • Assault or threaten;
    • Stalk, harass or intimidate; or
    • Destroy or damage the protected person’s property.

    In some cases, the AVO goes further and may prevent you from approaching the protected person. That might be a blanket ban (you cannot approach them at all in any circumstances) or be restricted to certain places (like at their home or workplace) or circumstances (like if you are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs).

    If you breach the AVO, it is a criminal offence and you may face penalties like substantial fines or even imprisonment.


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    “I would just like to thank you for your hard work and understanding during a very stressful time for myself.I cannot thank you enough for the work and advice you provided.My assault and stalking and intimidation charges were heard by the Magistrate at Liverpool Court yesterday, Tuesday 16th. I pleaded guilty to the assault with the stalking being dropped prior by way of representations made by you. The Magistrate seen through the bullshit supplied by the Police facts sheet and I am happy to say no conviction was recorded. He stated it was “a molehill turned into a mountain by police”.John I would just like to say your professionalism on both of my criminal and family law matters was outstanding. I would go so far as to say its the best service I have ever had. Keep up the good work!!!”
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