In “Consenting to AVO” we discussed the situation where a person applies to the Court to have an Apprehended Violence Order made against you. We discussed the procedure of going to Court, and consenting to an order, and the consequences of an Order being made. Now we will discuss what happens if you do not consent to the Order being made.
Legal Aid is generally not available to defend these matters.
The Court asks the question “do you consent” and you simply reply with “No, Your Honour”. The matter will then be adjourned for a hearing in around one to two months time, when the Court will hear evidence in relation to the application. It is similar to a trial that you see on television, where each witness is “examined in chief” by the other side, quite often the Police Prosecutor, and then “cross-examined” by you (if you do not have a solicitor) or by your lawyer if you have one acting for you.
This can be a harrowing experience for a person seeking the protection of an ADVO in the situation when the defendant is self-represented. This process sees the person for whom protection is sought being questioned in a hostile way by or on behalf of the person he or she is seeking protection from!
At the end of the hearing, the Court Magistrate will decide if, on the balance of probabilities (more likely than not), that the person for whom protection is sought does fear the violence or harassment from the defendant, and whether that fear is reasonable.
If the Orders are made you receive a copy of those Orders and generally you are then to surrender firearms and firearm licences. This Order is not recorded on your criminal record, however a breach of the Order can carry penalties of a fine of up to $5,500 and/or 2 years in prison.
You should seek legal advice for AVO matters, as an uninformed decision could have dire consequences.
If you have any questions you would like answered either confidentially or via this medium, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.