AVO - Apprehended Violence Order
Apprehended Violence Orders are serious matters and come before the Courts frequently. Having an AVO taken out against you can lead to grave consequences.
Being the subject of an AVO can impact your close relationships, your reputation, your future job prospects and your ability to travel to some countries may also be impacted.
Having an Apprehended Violence Order in place against you does not mean you have a criminal record, however, to contravene or breach an AVO may lead to a criminal charge.
If you plead guilty or are found guilty of breaching an AVO it will result in a criminal record unless you receive the benefit of a Section 10 under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act
Can I dispute an AVO?
Before going to Court, you should seek legal advice so that you fully understand what will happen if you consent to an Apprehended Violence Order and what will happen if you decide to dispute or defend the AVO application.
At the first Court date, you will be asked whether you consent to the orders being sought. If you wish to challenge the AVO, the matter will be adjourned to a later date for a “show cause” hearing. If the matter is defended an Interim Order will usually be put in place until the matter is finalised.
What happens if I breach an AVO?
If you have breached an AVO, you have two options.
1 - PLEAD NOT GUILTY. To be charged with this offence, the Police or applicant must prove that you knowingly contravened a restriction or prohibition specified in an AVO. If it cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt that you knowingly breached the AVO, then you will be found “not guilty” of the offence.
Even if it can be proved that you knowingly contravened the AVO there are a number of defences available, and you may still be found “not guilty” if these can be established.
2 - PLEAD GUILTY. If you agree with the charges made against you, it is in your best interest to plead guilty. Pleading guilty will show remorse and contrition to the Court and may entitle you to a discount on your sentence.
The maximum penalties for breaching an AVO is 2 year’s imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine, however contravening an Apprehended Violence Order is often dealt with pursuant to Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act with no conviction recorded.
If there are aggravating factors involved in the breach of AVO such as stalking, intimidation assault or violence, unless the Court orders otherwise, a jail term is not unusual.
We are here to help
Fourtree Lawyers have extensive experience assisting clients on the Central Coast with matters related to Apprehended Violence Orders in Court.
Our lawyers can explain and guide you through the entire Court process and work with you to minimise the legal ramifications of your offence.
Instructing a lawyer to act on your behalf will ensure you fully understand your position and your options and will assist you in getting the best possible results for your particular case.
Contact our Central Coast Lawyers on 1300 529 444 as soon as possible. The earlier we can start building a strong case for you, the higher your chance of getting a good outcome.
For more information about AVO matters click here.
In NSW the following penalties can be imposed by the Court for breaching an AVO:
- Section 10 no conviction recorded
- A fine of up to $5,500
- Good behaviour bond
- Community service order
- Suspended sentence
- Intensive correctional order
- Home detention
- Up to 2 years Imprisonment
To find out which likely penalties apply call our AVO specialists 0n 1300 529 444 for a free case assessment
If you have been charged with Contravene an AVO we will make submissions to the Court outlining the reasons for the breach including any exceptional circumstances particular to your case.
Possible defences for breaching an AVO may include.
- Duress - where the applicant threatens you to make contact and breach the AVO
- Necessity - where the breach of AVO happened to attend mediation or recover property
- Self-defence - where you needed to breach the AVO to defend your children or your property
To find out if any of these defences apply call our AVO specialists 0n 1300 529 444 for a free case assessment
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