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: