Apprehended Violence Order or AVO is an order issued by the Local Court in order to assure the safety of someone who has been a victim of a violent crime and seeks protection. They fall under the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007. AVOs branch out into more specific realms of personal and domestic violence and victims in such cases can get an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) or an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) as the case may be.


At Maatouks Law Group, we help you identify the situation you are in and assist you with all kinds of AVO processes. Whether you want to consent to the AVO (with or without admitting to the allegations mentioned on the AVO), contest the AVO, or modify the AVO, we have the experts here who can guide you on what you need to do and also handhold you through the entire process.


What is an AVO (Apprehended Violence Order)?

An Apprehended Violence Order is an order issued to protect the victims of violent crimes. When a person has been assaulted, intimidated, harassed, or threatened, he or she can get an AVO issued against the perpetrator. AVOs are sound and legitimate orders that prevent the perpetrators from continuing the heinous acts towards their targeted victims. Although an AVO is not a criminal charge, you will have to abide by certain restrictions that will be applicable till the AVO is valid. In most cases, the AVOs have a validity period of 12 months.


At Maatouks Law Group, you get the best consultation on violence orders of all types. We can help you apply for an AVO against your perpetrator as well as represent you in contesting any AVO issued against you. We understand your situation and work out feasible solutions to help your case. We help gather evidence if you want to get an AVO against your intimidator/stalker. Conversely, we also help prove your innocence or collect evidence that can justify your act if you want to contest or modify the AVO issued against you. Speak to our legal team for effective guidance.


What is an ADVO (Apprehended Domestic Violence Order)?

An ADVO stands for Apprehended Domestic Violence Order and is a form of AVO issued for violence in the domestic setup. Domestic setups include married couples, de facto couples, couples living in the same premises (which also includes a residential care facility), two people having an intimate relationship, and two people related as extended family or kin (for the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander people).


In case of domestic violence cases, Domestic Violence Liaison Officers (DVLO) are involved. DVLOs are trained to assist with all aspects of domestic violence from child protection and victim support to all court processes that need to be taken to assure the safety of the victim and his family. They also monitor victims and perpetrators to make sure such heinous acts are not repeated.


When it comes to ADVOs, the expert team at Maatouks can help you apply for one or contest for one issued against you. We can liaise with the DVLOs and also represent you at the court if need be. If you are the victim, we can help you gather evidence and get the ADVO against your family member who has been inculcating fear in you.


What is an APVO (Apprehended Personal Violence Order)?

APVO stands for Apprehended Personal Violence Order – an order issued for the protection of victims who have endured personal threats, harassment, injuries, or intimidation from people outside of their family like co-workers, neighbours, or even strangers. If a person has been stalking you or causing you to live in fear of any sort, you can apply for an APVO against the person. Likewise, if an APVO is issued against you, you will not be allowed to go near the person in need of protection or even attempt to contact or speak to him or her. Any breach of this will lead to incarceration and some solid jail time.


At Maatouks, we specialise in all kinds of violence orders including APVO. Be it filing for an APVO or contesting one, our counsellors can advise you on the right course of action and assist you with the entire process start-to-end. We can also help build your case by gathering evidence and preparing you for the court proceedings. Our experienced lawyers can identify the possibilities of getting you a watertight AVO or strongly defending yourself against one. We provide thorough counselling and guidance in all matters related to APVOs.


How to Get an AVO in NSW?

Getting an AVO is a step-by-step process. It needs to be thoroughly proved that the person applying for the AVO has a solid reason to fear the defendant. Any kind of harassment, threats, or violence should be reported to the police without delay and guidance should be sought on how to deal with such situations. Evidence should be collected to be able to prove that the defendant can potentially hurt you which provides a solid ground for you to get an AVO.


Whether you are being subjected to mental or physical harassment or intimidation, it should be brought to the notice of the concerned authorities and a solution should be sought. This could be from a member of your family, someone who is in an intimate relationship with you, or someone from outside the family like a neighbour, co-worker, customer, etc. The concerned authorities include the police, and the ideal solution would be to get an AVO through the Local Courts in NSW.


How Does an AVO Work?

An AVO is a legal order that will strictly prevent the defendant from coming close to you or even trying to contact you. You can apply for an AVO against any person who has been violent towards you, instilled fear in you with intimidation, domestic abuse, sexual assault, physical violence, etc.


There are certain conditions included in an AVO. While the defendant is not allowed to continue their heinous acts, they can also not contact or cause any damage to the victim’s property in any way. When an AVO is issued to protect a victim, their families are also covered under this protection and the defendant can also not come close to the victim’s family.


Additionally, the defendant or the perpetrator cannot reside in the same house as the victim or possess any firearms. The defendant can speak to the victim only in the presence of a lawyer and should not be within a certain radius of proximity to the victim. These instructions must be adhered to, failing which, the defendants could face prison time and a non-criminal AVO takes the form of a criminal charge and goes into your records.


How to Apply for an AVO or ADVO?

Applying for an AVO or an ADVO is categorically a multi-step process. So if you are receiving threats, being harassed, being physically assaulted, or facing any such situation that makes you live in fear because of a certain person, the first thing you need to do is get an Apprehended Violence Order or Apprehended Domestic Violence Order. Let’s look at the stepwise process.


Contact the Police

When you are being repeatedly intimated by someone, be it from the family or outside, you need to contact the police and report the incidents. Also, you need to submit ample proof to substantiate the claims of threats, intimidation, or violence.


Provide a Statement

Provide a detailed statement of the incidents which instilled fear of the perpetrator and all details in relation to those incidents. The more relevant your information is, the more strong your complaint will be. The police can also help you apply for an AVO on your behalf.


Sign the Statement

Once the statement is completely furnished with all necessary and relevant details, you may check the same and sign it to mark your approval. You will get a copy of this statement and the police makes headway into the investigation of the matter.


Serving the Application

Once the application is done, the police serve the application to the defendant personally. After serving the application, the police fill out a Statement of Service that is to be submitted in the Court as proof of having informed the defendant of the application.


Going to Court

Once the application has been submitted in Court, the defendant will be intimated of the date and time when he or she needs to be in Court. The further process of submitting the evidence and proving that there are enough grounds for the victim to fear the defendant happens in Court. During the Court proceedings, you may argue your own case or get a lawyer to represent you. Victims of domestic violence can get some guidance from the Domestic Violence Practitioner Scheme about this.


Is an AVO a Criminal Record?

An AVO is not a criminal proceeding against you and does not get into your records. However, if you happen to breach the stipulations in the AVO, you will be charged and punished. Punishment includes a two-year imprisonment or a 50-unit penalty.



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