In AVO (Part 1 & 2)” we discussed the procedure involved in having an Apprehended Violence Order made when you feel you are in need of protection. In this article we will discuss what to do if someone is asking the Court to make an Apprehended Violence Order against you.
Legal Aid is generally not available for defendants in AVO proceedings so if you cannot afford the cost of engaging a solicitor to act for you then you will have to represent yourself in the Court proceedings.
Either the police or an individual may ask the Court to make an order. A summons to attend Court will be served on you, which will indicate the date you are required to attend Court. On the Court date, you will be asked by the Magistrate if you consent to the order being made. You have two choices.
You can oppose the application (and the case will be set for a hearing on a later date) or you can agree to an order being made, even if you disagree with the allegations upon which the order is sought.
Agreeing to the order means that you don’t have to return to Court unless there is a breach of that order. The making of an order does not mean that you are admitting to any allegation made against you by the applicant in the application, nor does it show on any criminal record. However, there are dire consequences if you breach such an order, the maximum penalty being a fine for $5,500 and up to 2 years in prison. If the order is made, you are generally unable to have firearms or a licence for firearms, and it is unlikely you would be able to work as a security guard. It can also impact upon other employment opportunities
There are situations where the protected person could even entice you to do an act which would be in breach of the order. This happens regularly, and still can result in convictions of a serious nature.
If someone is trying to seek an AVO against you, you need to seek legal advice, as the consequences of making an uninformed choice can have serious implications.
If you have any questions you would like answered either confidentially or via this medium, please email us at email@example.com
This is intended for general information and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal advice should be sought.