Police Applications for Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO’s)

When Police are called to an incident (it might be a neighbourhood or a domestic incident), they have the authority to apply for and authorise a Provisional Apprehended Violence Order that restricts one or more of the parties from doing certain things.  These orders are protective in nature. The AVO will be listed for a date in court. If you have been charged with an offence, the two matters will be dealt with at the same time and in the same court. NSW Local Courts have a preferred list day for all AVO matters and these are often very busy and crowded days at court .

Sutherland local court avo

While the Provisional Order is before the Court it can be continued over on an interim basis. The order can be varied or revoked after an Application to do so is filed and served on the other side. An application to vary or revoke can be contested by setting the application down for hearing or it can be consented to without admission.

Applications to vary or revoke AVO’s need to be filed in the proper form at the Local Court Registry. Brady and Associate Lawyers will assist their clients to draft up statements and Affidavits that comply with the court requirements.

Enforceable Conditions

Some of the conditions may be; for instance, not to assault or intimidate or stalk or harass a person. There also can be conditions limiting a person from going within a certain distance of a residence (sometimes their own).  Whatever the condition, it an offence to breach that condition.

Even if you are invited to contact a person in circumstances where you have been ordered not to; then this is a breach. The person in need of protection cannot set aside the order or decide when it is all right to breach the order. If there are conditions on the order that the parties would like to change an Application to vary should be filed at the Court.

Courts take very seriously the breaching of these orders and it is important to remember that the maximum penalty for breaching an AVO is 2 years in gaol.

At Court

Have you have served by the Police with a Provisional Order or an Application for an AVO  against you?

At the court, the Police Domestic Violence Liaison Officer (DVO) for your area will be wanting to talk with you and find out what your position is in relation to the Order (and possibly charges). Hence, it really helps to have a lawyer speak to them on your behalf.

Remember that the DVO’s or Prosecutors do not represent you or your interests.

sutherland shire lawyer

They primarily work with the NSW Police and the person alleged to need protection. Things will definitely move along a little faster once  the DVO has talked with you and are then able to inform the Police Prosecutor of what is happening in your matter. The Police Prosecutor will be at the bar table in the Court room. The Police DVO will hand a form to the Prosecutor which they like you to sign. It is advisable to have consulted with your your own lawyer before speaking with the Police Domestic Violence Liaison Officer (DVO).

Additionally, if a condition of the Apprehended Violence Order prohibits you from living at your home, then a Recovery Order can be sought at Court. Once you have a Recovery Order the Police will accompany you to your home and watch while you collect only  the items referred to in the order.

Your Options

At the Court mention you have the option of adjourning the Provisional order on an interim basis or obtaining a hearing date to contest the order. Thirdly, (and this is quite common) you can consent to the order without admission. It is best to seek legal advice before you do any of these things.

If you have related charges running at the same time, the Application for the AVO can stay with the charge matter until the charges are dealt with to finality. Usually in such circumstances the AVO is continued on an interim basis.

Important to Note

An Apprehended Violence Order is not a criminal charge. It does not amount to a conviction on a person’s criminal history. Never the less, depending on your circumstances, the existence of an order can have real ramifications for where you can live and work.

Brady and Associates Lawyers have considerable expertise in the area of AVOs and are well practiced in the current law. We will appear on your behalf, negotiate with the Prosecution, help you with your Defence case, draft statements and Affidavits, and appear at any hearing of the evidence.

Private Applications for AVOs

An AVO can be applied for by any individual or their legal representative. A court will determine whether Final Orders are reasonable.  They make this decision after a hearing on the evidence and on the balance of probabilities. Costs can be ordered against the unsuccessful party, including the costs of their legal counsel.

Private AVO applications can be stressful and expensive. Because of this, the likelihood of success should be considered prior to making the making application. Brady and Associates Lawyers can help you with initial advice to determine whether an order is the most effective way of dealing with your situation.  Secondly, we can objectively assess whether the Application has reasonable prospects of success. Getting smart legal advice at this stage can save you a great deal of money in the long run.

The Process

First of all you may be ordered to attend mediation at the first mention date.

If mediation is not successful or not appropriate (because there are allegations of violence involved) then a timetable will be set for the service of evidence.  This evidence must be in a proper format and easily understood. It must be served by the ordered date or may not be accepted by the court. You should receive legal advice as to what should be covered in your affidavit. The evidence in the Affidavit must be capable of satisfying the court that you hold reasonable fears.

After the statements/affidavits are served, a date is set for hearing. Your application may be dismissed if you do not attend the hearing or any of the court dates. Consequently, costs will probably be awarded to the other side. To make sure that the parties have complied with their timetable orders the court will set a “compliance” mention date.

Above all, Brady and Associates Lawyers have plenty of experience in dealing with such matters. We have the expertise to negotiate a settlement as needs be.


Brady and Associate’s Principal Lawyer Amanda Brady has a Masters in dispute resolution and can prepare you for any Mediation. We offer training prep in advance for Mediation participants based upon the facilitative model.

Mediation is not like a court as the Mediator is not a ‘Judge’ and they do not make any orders. Therefore, at the Mediation Conference, the Mediator facilitates the parties to negotiate their own agreement.

Consequently mediation can bring better outcomes and be less costly than fighting it out in court.

After advice and preparation with Brady and Associates Lawyers, you will:

  • Know what to expect at Mediation
  • Understand the Mediation Process
  • Be able to negotiate the best outcome for you
  • Know the worst outcome for you
  • Assess the needs of the other side

Contact Us Today

If you have an AVO matter get to know our people or contact us today to discuss your options.