New Laws Regarding AVO’s – What you need to know

Apprehended Violence Orders are orders that provide legal protection for those who fear for their safety as a result of physical violence, harassment, intimidation and stalking.

There are 2 types of Apprehended Violence Order:

Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (eg against a partner, relative or house member); and
Apprehended Personal Violence Order (against all other persons who are not involved in a domestic relationship)

An application for an apprehended violence order can be made by the person in need of protection or by the police on behalf of the person in need of protection.

The Court can make final apprehended violence orders if it is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a person has reasonable grounds to fear and in fact fears for their safety. The person in need of protection must demonstrate that there are fears at the time of the hearing.

The Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (the new Act) was enacted on 10 March 2008. Previously, the law regarding AVOs was contained in Part 15A of the Crimes Act 1900 (which is now repealed). The new Act largely reproduces Part 15A with the following significant changes (all sections relate to the new Act):

s 3– a person can be present in Court by way of audio visual link.

s 8– there is an extended definition of stalking whereby the Court can have regard to any pattern of violence.

s 12– the Court can direct the recording of “domestic violence offence” on a person’s criminal record when a person pleads guilty or is found guilty of such an offence. The prosecution can apply for other offences on a person’s record to be recorded as domestic violence offences.

s 25– telephone interim orders are now called “provisional orders”.

s 38– children of the protected person must be included in the apprehended violence order unless there a good reasons not.

s 40– an interim AVO must be made when a person has been charged with a serious personal violence offence (eg domestic violence offence, attempted murder, maliciously inflict grievous bodily harm, sexual assault)

s 45– the Courts now have the power to make non-publication orders to person involved in all AVO proceedings.

s 53– if an authorised officer or registrar declines to issue process for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order, the applicant can seek review by the Court.

s 73– if an application for the extension of a final apprehended violence order or interim court order is made before the order expires, the order is taken to continue in force until the application is dealt with by the Court.

If you are defending an apprehended violence order, Benjamin & Leonardo can guide you through the process and give you the attention and advice that you require in order to achieve the best outcome.

Benjamin Goh

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