Usually, someone who believes they may be at risk of abuse or violence from another person will request an AVO.
It’s natural to be scared if you are experiencing abuse. However, gaining an understanding of the AVO and its conditions will empower you to control your situation. You can empower yourself to make better decisions by learning more about AVOs.
What is an AVO (Avoidable Violation Order)?
In Australia, an AVO (Apprehended Violent Order) is a court order that protects a person, group, or individuals from violence, harassment, or intimidation.
A person who believes they are in danger of abuse or violence from another individual will usually request an AVO.
An order can prevent the person subject to the demand from contacting or coming close to the protected persons or acting negatively towards them.
There are two types of AVO: the Apprehended Domestic Violence Order and the Apprehended Personal Violence Order.
A court can issue an Apprehended Violence Order to protect someone or a group from violent, harassing, intimidating, or other types of threatening behavior.
A person may defend themselves and provide evidence to the court in order to refute the accusations against them.
The person who submitted the Apprehended Violation Order (AVO) may withdraw it either before or during the hearing.
It is important to know the conditions of an AVO as they specify the actions that are permitted and those that are prohibited. Requirements for AVOs are divided into two categories: mandatory orders and extra orders.
What does an AVO mean for a defendant?
From the perspective of the defendant, the gravity of an AVO is determined by the nature and severity of the consequences which may be imposed.
AVOs have implications that go beyond the personal. They can affect professional relationships and restrict your freedom to travel or engage in certain activities.
The defendant is often required to adhere to certain conditions. For example, they are not allowed contact with the protected person or their workplace or home or refrain from using any intimidation or threat.
In severe cases, violating the terms of an AVO could result in criminal prosecution and penalties.
You should know that you can defend yourself against an AVO by presenting evidence in court to refute the accusations against you. They may also seek legal counsel to learn more about their options and rights.
Can AVO Applications be Retracted?
An Apprehended Violence Order application can be withdrawn before or during a court hearing by the applicant.
The applicant may withdraw the application if they no longer believe they are at risk of abuse or if they have resolved their disagreements with the AVO topic.
Even if an AVO is withdrawn, it is still possible that the defendant will be required to attend court to answer the accusations made against them.
A court’s temporary or permanent orders will remain in force until it decides to cancel them.
Note that rescinding an AVO does not stop the police from taking action if they believe a crime, such as assault or stalking, has been committed. If the police have proof to support the allegations, they can still investigate the case and bring charges against the person who was the subject of an AVO.
What you need to know about AVO conditions
Understanding the conditions is crucial when serving with an AVO. They outline what you can do and what you cannot. AVO conditions encompass two types.
Conditions of Mandatory Orders
The following orders must be included in every AVO following Section 36 of Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence Act 2007 No 80):
A person in a relationship with the person protected must not be abused or threatened.
It is illegal to intentionally stalk, harass, or intimidate the person protected or anyone else who has a relationship with that person.
Property belonging to the protected individual or to another person who has a domestic relationship with that person or in their possession must not be damaged or destroyed recklessly.
These orders offer a minimum of protection. They do not exclude or prevent the protected individual from the premises, and they don’t stop contact.
Conditions for Additional Orders
A court can impose restrictions or prohibitions on a defendant if it appears that they are ‘necessary’ or ‘desirable’ to ensure the safety of a PINOP, their child, or any other members of their family.
Section 25 of the Crimes Act (Domestic and Personal Violence), 2007 No 80 outlines additional orders that can be added to an AVO without limiting any prohibitions or restrictions imposed by a court.
On 3 December 2016, the law governing AVO orders, their format and content changed.
Additional orders can be added to AVOs that were made before 3 December 2016.
The defendant cannot reside in a place where the protected persons may occasionally reside or in another location specified by the court. You cannot live with someone who is protected.
Only a lawyer can contact or approach the protected person. Only your lawyer may contact the protected person, whether by phone, text, email, written communication, through third parties, or any other means.
You cannot approach any school, childcare facility, or other places where the protected person may go for studies.
After drinking alcohol or using illicit drugs, you cannot approach the person protected or be with them for 12 hours.
It is illegal to try to locate the person who has been protected unless you have received a court order to do so.
AVO Conditions regarding Family Law and Parenting orders
You may not contact the protected person via phone, email, text, third-party, writing, or any other means unless your lawyer recommends it, as ordered by a court or agreed upon with the other side.
Conditions of AVO Locations
It is illegal to live with the person protected or at the place specified in an order. The order can be issued regardless of whether the property is owned or leased.
Visitors are not allowed to visit protected persons at their homes, workplaces, or other addresses (if specified).
If you are notified, you must keep a set distance from the home, workplace, or other address of the person being protected.
AVO Lawyers with Experience Can Guide You
We at Justice Family Lawyers understand the complexity of AVO and are committed to providing our clients with high-quality legal advice.
We are dedicated to helping clients achieve the best outcome in their family law cases.