AVOs, as they are commonly referred to as, are Apprehended Violence Orders. There are 2 types of AVO. The APVO and the ADVO. The ADVO (D stands for domestic) is typically used with family members or partners, while the APVO (P standing for personal) is for any person not in a domestic relationship.
An AVO is designed to protect a person from the behaviour of another by ordering that the defendant not behave in certain ways. Nearly all orders made include the “mandatory orders” which order that a person must not assault, harass, threaten, stalk, or intimidate the applicant, or go within a certain distance of their home or workplace.
Anyone over the age of 16 can apply for an AVO. The process of applying for an AVO to be ordered is that a form is filled out and filed at the Local Court Registry, a court date is given, and the defendant (the person who the AVO is made against) is served with notice that an AVO could be made and you should be at court to answer the complaint. The parties both attend court and the magistrate will ask if the AVO is still sought, and the applicant will generally answer “yes” at which time the magistrate will then ask the defendant if he consents to an AVO being made. The defendant either answers that he consents or doesn’t. If he does consent, the order is made then and there.
To have an AVO against you is not a criminal offence, however to breach an order such as an AVO can have serious consequences such as a custodial sentence.
Next week we will discuss the situation when a defendant does not consent to the AVO.
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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.