Having an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against you is not a criminal offence. However, if you breach any of the AVO’s listed conditions the Police to have the power to arrest you and press charges. You can also be charged for any behaviour that causes the contravention, for example, Stalking and Intimidation. The Police will issue you with a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) which outlines the date and location where you must appear at Court. These cases are often the protected person’s word against the complainant. It is therefore imperative that you have a solicitor that can present your side adequately and effectively in Court.
What are the applicable penalties?
The maximum penalty for breaching an AVO is 2 year’s imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine. Other sentencing options available to the Court are:
- Section 10(1)(a) – charge dismissed;
- Section 10(1)(c) – charge dismissed on the condition that you enter into an agreement to participate in an intervention program;
- Conditional Release Order – without conviction
- Section 10A – conviction with no other penalty;
- Fine of up to $5,500;
- Conditional Release Order – with conviction;
- Intensive Correction Order;
- Up to 2 years imprisonment.
What must the Prosecution prove?
The Prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you:
- Were prohibited to act in a certain way under the conditions of the AVO
- Contravened the conditions of the AVO;
- Did so knowing the AVO conditions were in place.
What are the types of contraventions?
Depending on your actions, contravening an AVO can be considered a technical breach or a minor contravention. Sometimes only being in the vicinity of the protected person is considered a technical breach and therefore a contravention of the AVO.
What if I 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.
What if I 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, you will be found ‘not guilty’ of the offence.
What defences are available?
Available defences for contravening an AVO may include any of the following:
- Duress – where the applicant threatens you to make contact and you subsequently breach the AVO;
- Necessity – where the breach of the AVO happened to attend mediation or recover property;
- Self-defence – where you needed to breach the AVO to defend your children or your property, or;
- Accidental breach – you cannot be found guilty of contravening an AVO if the Police cannot prove you knowingly contravened the AVO.
We can 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.
AVO contraventions can range from the less serious such as sending a text message to the protected person, to one where violence is present. Our lawyers will help you determine where you stand on the spectrum.
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.
Kevin and Jane are without a doubt 100% there to support you through Your whole ordeal reassuring you all the way My experience from finding Fourtree Lawyers on Google in a fairly unsure position, reading the reviews to the successful outcomes was the only referral I had, believe me when I say you will be happy with their experience in all fields of law which is insurmountable and they will obtain the best favourable outcome in any circumstance. Fourtree Lawyers are there for you to bring things back into perspective...
“Kevin and Jane were my “knights in shining armour.” I can’t thank these two people enough. They gave their everything and most important believed me when I told them my story. I am forever grateful for their professional attitude and for giving 100% to free me from my nightmare. I was able to plead guilty but also most importantly was not forced to lie and compromise my integrity and own personal values and standards. I was very happy with the outcome and the way I was treated. They communicated constantly...
Had the most amazing experience with Fourtree Lawyers kevin vierboom who represented my partner was helpful and understanding and we got a great result better then expected ? jane hogan, I was so blessed to have her by my side. They are an amazing team and i would recommend them to everyone also great value for money. Especially considering i only called the morning of the court case and they were all over it at my bek and call thankyou so much guys im so appreciative for all your help today
I was lucky enough to have Kevin take my case and am truly grateful for the services he and his team provided. From the outset, I was made to feel comfortable and knew from the first time meeting with them that they would go above and beyond to get the best possible outcome and that is exactly what they did. Fourtree Lawyers provides exceptional service with outstanding results and I would recommend Kevin to anyone and everyone who is in need of these services.
Section 10(1)(b) – 2 x Contravene prohibition/restriction in AVO – Gosford District Court
Our client, a 19-year-old male who lives on the Central Coast with his grandmother, was charged with 2 x Contravene prohibition/restriction in AVO. The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $5,500. Our client grew up in a single parent household and suffered abuse when he visited his father every second weekend. Our client has taken extensive steps to try and recover from the abuse. Our client is now an active member in society holding down two jobs and studying at TAFE. His family and employers regard him to be a compassionate and kind person.
Our client had initially represented himself in court and the Local Court Magistrate convicted our client and ordered a section 9 Good Behaviour Bond for a term of 2 years. He was most distressed to have a criminal conviction and came to us for help.
We lodged a severity appeal to the District Court, Solicitor Kevin Vierboom made extensive submissions to support the appeal. Following consideration of these submissions, the Judge dismissed the charges and ordered a section 10(1)(b) Good Behaviour Bond for the term of 12 months.
Our client and his family were extremely relieved to have the original criminal conviction dismissed.
Not Guilty, Charge dismissed – Contravene Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) - Wyong Local Court
Our client, a Newcastle resident, was charged with contravene prohibition/restriction in AVO (domestic). The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $5,500.00. Our Solicitor vigorously cross-examined the complainant as well as the Officer in Charge in this matter and, in his cross-examination, emphasised the lack of forensic evidence in relation to the alleged offence.
Following consideration of the matter, the Magistrate held that our client is not guilty, and the charge was dismissed. A Final AVO was made by consent on a without admission basis.
Our client was extremely relieved with the outcome of this case.
Charges Withdrawn – Assault Occasioning ABH and Contravene ADVO – Gosford Local Court
Our client, a 27-year-old male who lives with his wife on the Central Coast. He was initially charged with Breach of AVO, Common Assault and Intentionally Choke. The maximum penalty for Intentionally Choke is imprisonment for 10 years.
Our client was on a Student Visa undergoing an application to become a permanent resident and was at risk of being deported. Solicitor Kevin Vierboom made extensive submissions to the Magistrate who ordered a 12-month Intensive Corrections Order.
Our client was very relieved with this outcome. However, eight days after sentencing our client was accused of contacting and assaulting the victim which he strenuously denied.
He was subsequently charged with Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) and Contravene an ADVO. Our client was taken into custody and refused bail. The maximum penalty for Assault Occasioning ABH is 5 years imprisonment.
At the Courthouse, Solicitor Kevin Vierboom entered into negotiations with the Police Prosecutor and the charges were eventually withdrawn due to lack of evidence. Our client was extremely relieved. He was immediately released from custody.
Our client is a 22-year-old male who works as a Plant Operator and was diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression and anxiety in 2016 for which he has been prescribed medication.
Our client was on remand at Parklea Correctional Centre charged with 7 counts of contravene ADVO and Use Carriage service to menace/harass/offend. For a period of 3 days, our client sent 156 Facebook messages to his partner, ranging from text, voice and images and made eye contact with the PINOP in breach of the 100m exclusion zone stated in the ADVO.
Our client pleaded guilty to the offences at the Downing Local Court, solicitor Kevin Vierboom made submissions as to our client’s mental health issues and severe personal trauma at the time which contributed to his offending.
The Magistrate ordered our client to enter an Intensive Correction Order for 16 months, the conditions of which are to be of good behaviour, submit to supervision by a Community Corrections Officer, and to adhere to his medication regime and continue counselling with his psychologist.
The family were so happy to have their son released from custody.