Apprehended Violence Orders – What are they, and when are they made?

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January 26, 2013 by Todd

An apprehended violence order can have significant consequences for you, so it is important for you to understand what you are faced with.

What is an apprehended violence order?

An apprehended violence order (‘AVO’) is a court order which says that one person (‘the defendant’) is not to do certain things or behave in certain ways towards another person or persons (the persons in need of protection, or PINOPs).

There are two types of AVOs:

a) An apprehended domestic violence order, when the application involves people in a family or domestic relationship.

b) An apprehended personal violence order, in other cases.

Who can apply for an AVO?

An application for an AVO may be made by the police, the PINOP or the PINOP’s guardian under a guardianship order.  Only a police officer can make an application for an AVO to protect a child.

An AVO must be made by the Court if the defendant is charged with or convicted of certain criminal offences.

What is the difference between an interim AVO and a final AVO?

An interim AVO is an order made before the court finally hears the application.  A final AVO is made when the court finally hears the application, or earlier if the parties agree.

For an interim AVO, the applicant must show that it is “necessary or appropriate” to make the order in the circumstances.  For a final AVO it must be proved that the PINOP had reasonable grounds to fear and in fact fears that the defendant will commit a personal violence offence or behave in a way that intimidates or stalks the PINOP.  This must be shown on the ‘balance of probabilities’.

How long does an AVO last?

It depends.  The law says that an AVO should last for as long as is necessary to ensure the safety of the PINOP.  Most commonly, an AVO is ordered for between 6 months.  In more serious cases, the AVO can remain in place for longer.  If the AVO does not say how long it is to last for, then it will last for 12 months.

Make sure that you get the best advice before you make a decision.  Let our knowledge be your edge.  Contact us now.


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