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Contesting an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO)



An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) or an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is an order issued by the court to protect individuals from violence, threats, harassment, or stalking.


We understand that receiving an Apprehended Violence Order against you, albeit not a criminal charge, may be extremely unpleasant. You can have a private AVO against you or an AVO can be applied for by the Police, in which case it can be related to some criminal charges also. A private AVO can be withdrawn by the Applicant, whereas if the Police is the Applicant, the Person in Need of Protection (PINOP) would generally not be able to withdraw the AVO based on their wishes.


It is quite common for defendants to accept the AVO on no admissions basis, meaning that the Court will not accept the facts as alleged by Police (stated in the Facts Sheet) when the AVO is made against you. However, having an AVO on your record may not be suitable for you if you have reasonable prospects to contest it and/or you are concerned about its ramifications for your firearms licence, security licence or ability to work with children. In this article we will discuss some of the steps that can be taken to contest an AVO.


Legal Representation: The first step in the process is to always seek legal advice from a qualified criminal lawyer who has experience in dealing with AVO cases. At Surge Legal we can help you understand the intricacies of the legal process and provide guidance on the best course of action when it comes to AVOs, including Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders. We have significant experienced in dealing with various AVO matters and understand the likelihood of successfully challenging a particular AVO, which is based on your specific circumstances.


Negotiate with the Police: The next step is to communicate with the NSW Police to discuss the possibility of agreeing to withdraw the AVO, amending the AVO or reducing the duration of the AVO. It is essential to be able to properly present your case to the Police by making persuasive representations, including any evidence or mitigating factors, to convince them that the apprehended violence order is not necessary.


Factors in Favour of Withdrawing AVO

If the defendant can demonstrate that the situation leading to the AVO or ADVO application was an isolated incident and not part of a pattern of behaviour, the magistrate may be more inclined not to make the final AVO or ADVO. Evidence showing that the defendant is not prone to violence or aggression and that the incident was the result of exceptional circumstances can be persuasive in these cases.


A defendant's good character can be an important factor in persuading a magistrate not to make a final AVO or ADVO. This includes presenting evidence of the defendant's lack of prior criminal history, strong community ties, stable employment, and testimonials from family, friends, or colleagues vouching for the defendant's character.


If the protected person no longer feels at risk or believes the defendant has changed their behaviour, they may wish to have the AVO or ADVO revoked or not made final. Evidence of counselling, mediation, or family therapy may be presented to demonstrate that the parties have reconciled and addressed the isolated incident between them. In such cases, the magistrate may consider the protected person's wishes when determining the outcome. However, it is crucial to note that the magistrate will still carefully assess the situation and may choose to make the order final if they believe the protected person is still at risk.


In general, you will have reasonably good chance of contesting an ADVO and making persuasive representations, if you can objectively demonstrate on the balance of probabilities that the person in need of protection does not fear the defendant, that this was an isolated incident and the defendant is not likely to reoffend again.


Attend the Court Hearing: If the police do not agree to withdraw or vary the ADVO, we will then represent you at the court hearing and present your case to the magistrate. The magistrate will then decide whether to make the final AVO or ADVO based on the evidence and arguments provided.


Why Choose Surge Legal for your AVO matter?


Free Initial Consultation: We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case, assess your chances of success, and help you decide the best course of action. In some cases, we require an in-depth consultation to get detailed instructions in order to provide you with comprehensive advice for your particular circumstances.


Tailored Legal Strategy: We will develop a tailored strategy to address your unique circumstances and present a compelling case for the withdrawal or variation of the AVO.


Transparent Pricing: We believe in providing clients with clear, upfront pricing for their services, so you know exactly what to expect and can make informed decisions. We also provide fixed fee services for some criminal law matters.


Exceptional Client Care: Surge Legal prides itself on providing personalized, compassionate support to clients throughout the legal process, ensuring that your needs are met, and your questions are answered.


Final Word


Withdrawing or varying an Apprehended Violence Order in the local court of New South Wales can be a challenging process, and legal guidance is always highly recommended for these matters. Despite this not being a criminal matter, it can have significant ramifications on your day-to-day life and expert advice must be obtained as soon as possible. Contact Surge Legal now for a free consultation surrounding your AVO matter.

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