JJ Blog Content 2 MAR 2023

Understanding AVOs: How to Apply for an Apprehended Violence Order

If you are experiencing violence or the threat of violence from someone close to you, you may be considering applying for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO). An AVO is a legal order that can help protect you from further harm by placing restrictions on the behaviour of the person causing you harm. It is important to understand the process of applying for an AVO and the steps involved to ensure the best possible outcome for your safety.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding AVOs and how to apply for one. We will explain the different types of AVOs and the steps involved in the application process. Whether you are considering applying for an AVO or simply want to know more about the process, this article will help you better understand how to protect yourself and those you care about.

What Is An Apprehended Violence Order?

An AVO is a legal order issued by a court in Australia to help protect a person from violence or the threat of violence by another person. The purpose of an AVO is to restrict the behaviour of the person causing harm and prevent them from committing acts of violence or harassment. 

An AVO can place restrictions on the person’s ability to contact the victim, come near them or their home, and can also require them to surrender any weapons in their possession. An AVO is designed to help ensure the safety and well-being of the victim and can be issued for a specified period of time.

Types of AVOs

In New South Wales, Australia, there are two types of AVOs: Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs) and Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVOs).

An ADVO is issued in situations where the violence or threat of violence is occurring between people who have or have had a domestic relationship. This includes people who are or were married, in a de facto relationship, family members and people who live or have lived together. An ADVO can also be issued to protect children from violence or the threat of violence.

On the other hand, an APVO is issued when the violence or threat of violence is occurring between people who do not have a domestic relationship. This can include neighbours, colleagues or people who have met through social or business situations.

The main difference between an ADVO and an APVO is the nature of the relationship between the parties involved. ADVOs are issued when the parties have or have had a domestic relationship, whereas APVOs are issued when the parties do not have a domestic relationship.

How to Apply for an AVO

Have you experienced physical assault and been subjected to threats of physical harm, stalking, intimidation or harassment? Do you have a justifiable reason to believe that this behaviour will persist? If so, you may be eligible to apply for an AVO.

There are two ways you can apply for an AVO:

  1. By approaching your local police station and requesting the police to file an application on your behalf. This is called a ‘police application,’ and the police officer acts as the applicant.
  2. By visiting your nearest Local Court and filing an application through the registrar. This is known as a ‘private application,’ and you act as the applicant. However, only individuals aged 16 years and above can initiate a private application.

The following steps outline how to apply for an AVO in Australia:

Step 1: Speak to the Police or go to the Local Court

As stated, you can apply for an AVO by speaking to your local police station or visiting your nearest Local Court. If you go to the police, they will assist you in filling out an application or make a police application on your behalf. If you go to the Local Court, you will need to fill out the application forms yourself.

Step 2: Fill out the AVO Application Form

The AVO Application Form will require you to provide information about the person you are seeking protection from, the type of violence or harassment you have experienced and any supporting evidence that you have. This evidence may include photographs, text messages, emails or witness statements.

Step 3: File the AVO Application Form

If you apply through the Local Court, you will need to sign your application and file it. If you do it by contacting the police, you need to sign the statement. In case the police find reasonable grounds to apply for an AVO on your behalf, they should proceed with making the application.

Afterwards, AVO applications will be served by either the police or a person nominated by the court or a registrar. The court will then provide you with a court date to attend. 

Step 4: Attend the Court Hearing

At the court hearing, the Magistrate will hear your case and decide whether or not to grant an AVO. It’s important to attend the hearing and bring any supporting evidence you have to help make your case stronger.

If you have submitted the AVO application, you will need to either represent yourself or obtain legal representation by hiring an AVO lawyer. However, if the police have applied for the AVO on your behalf, you will be represented in court by a police prosecutor.

For further details about applying for AVO in NSW through the police, click here. If you opt to go to the Local Court, click here.

The Role of an AVO Lawyer in the Application Process of AVO

Applying for an AVO can be a difficult and emotional process. Seeking legal advice from an experienced AVO lawyer can be beneficial when applying for one. An AVO lawyer can assist you in several ways during the application process, such as:

  1. Explaining the AVO process: AVO lawyers can help you understand the AVO process, including the different types of AVOs, how to apply for one, and the court proceedings involved in obtaining an AVO.
  2. Preparing and filing the application: AVO lawyers can help you prepare and file the application, ensuring that all the necessary details and evidence are included. They can also advise you on the best course of action to take, depending on your specific situation.
  3. Representing you in court: If the matter proceeds to court, an AVO lawyer can represent you, cross-examine witnesses, and argue your case to the court. This can be particularly important if the defendant has legal representation, as the lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected and that the court fully understands your position.
  4. Negotiating with the defendant: In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a resolution with the defendant, such as agreeing to a less restrictive AVO. An AVO lawyer can assist in these negotiations, ensuring that your interests are protected while also seeking a resolution that is in the best interests of all parties involved.

An AVO lawyer can provide invaluable assistance throughout the application process, ensuring that you have the best chance of obtaining an AVO that protects you from violence and harassment.

At Jackson John Defence Lawyers, our experienced team of AVO lawyers understands the stress and fear that can come with applying for an AVO. We are here to provide you with the legal help and support you need to navigate the application process and obtain the best possible outcome for your situation.

Our team will work with you to gather the necessary evidence and prepare a strong application, ensuring that your case is presented in the best possible light. We can also represent you in court and provide ongoing support throughout the process.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you.