Apprehended Violence Orders
Apprehended Violence Orders are orders of the court designed to prevent physical violence, stalking, harassment and intimidation toward a person by another. The granting of an AVO can have drastic implications, and breaching an AVO may lead to criminal charges. If you believe the AVO was unnecessary, obtained by a false complaint, or obtained for some advantage (e.g. preventing one parent from seeing their children), it’s important that you seek legal advice immediately.
What are the Penalties for Breaching an AVO?
It is a criminal offence for the defendant to knowingly breach an interim or final Apprehended Violence Order. The maximum penalty on conviction is a $5,500 fine or two years imprisonment or both. If the breach constitutes an act of violence and the defendant is at least 18 years of age, the defendant may be sentenced to a period of imprisonment.
Action to Take
Successfully defending an application for an AVO sought by your spouse or former partner can sometimes be difficult for a number of reasons. Firstly, applications need only be proved on the balance of probabilities, rather than the higher criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. Secondly, applications are often taken out by police on the behalf of the alleged Person In Need Of Protection (PINOP). This means you may find yourself in a position where the alleged PINOP is legally represented by a police prosecutor and you are not. Thirdly, most allegations occur where there are no witnesses, and so it is sometimes difficult to adequately support your point of view. For this reason, it is imperative that you seek legal representation in order to effectively navigate these many interlinked factors.
What the Police Must Prove
In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The accused contravened a prohibition or restriction specified in an order made against the person.
- The contravention was done or made knowingly.
It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence.
How Can Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers Help?
If you have been charged with an assault offence, there are a number of ways you can proceed. It may be possible to make legal submissions to have your charge withdrawn or reduced by the Police. It may be an option to defend your matter in Court, or it may be in your best interests to plead guilty.
Our criminal lawyers are experts in the field and will carefully consider your case, advise you on all your legal options and recommend the best way forward.
The initial consultation is free.