What Are ‘Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders’ ?

Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO’s) are enacted to protect victims of domestic violence, through restricting the defendant’s behaviour.

An AVO prevents the defendant from behaving in certain ways, such as assaulting, contacting or going near the protected person. Contravening an AVO is a criminal offence.

A domestic relationship is one in which the persons are family members, related, married, or in a de facto relationship.

Domestic and family violence takes many forms such as physical assault, stalking, unwanted sexual acts, threats and breaking Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO).

An ADVO is not a criminal charge and a conviction will not be recorded on your criminal record. However, often there are associated criminal charges which pertain to the incident of complaint.

An individual can apply for an AVO or the police can make an application on someone else’s behalf. This occurs by way of an application to the Local Court.

A Magistrate in the Local Court can make an AVO if the defendant consents to the order being made; or, if after a hearing of evidence an AVO is considered necessary for the protection of the person in need of protection. The court must make an AVO order if a defendant has been found guilty of a domestic violence offence.

As the defendant of an AVO application you can either consent to the AVO being made or you can choose not to consent to the AVO being made. If you consent to the order you do not have to make admissions in respect to any of the allegations. Consenting to an AVO is not a decision to be made without considering the possible consequences of the orders duration and conditions.

If you do not agree to an order being made then each party is to file and serve on the other side a written statement of the evidence upon which they will rely at the future hearing. The court will set a timetable for this to occur.

At the AVO hearing each party will have an opportunity to adduce their evidence and cross examine the other side.

For an ADVO to be made the court must be satisfied that the person in need of protection  has reasonable grounds to fear that the defendant will commit a personal violence offence against them; or, that the conduct is sufficient to warrant an AVO being granted

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