Personal Violence Orders

Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVOs) are applied for in circumstances where there isn't a domestic relationship between the applicant, the person in need of protection (PINOP) and the defendant. If a complaint is made to police then the NSW Police Force will be the applicant seeking Orders to protect the PINOP. In most cases the police will immediately apply for Provisional Orders that are made without input from the defendant and apply until the first court date.

At the first Court date the defendant will be asked whether they consent to the Orders sought. Every defendant should get legal advice to ensure that they understand the process involved and the repercussions of either consenting to the orders or defending the application. If the matter is defended, the Court will normally make Interim Orders that operate until the matter in finalised.

Every defendant can consent to the application without admitting the allegations contained in the application. If the defendant consents without admissions the matter will be finalised and the Court will make Final Orders. The benefits are that the costs invloved are reduced and it removes the need for the parties to give evidence at a hearing. The making of Final Orders is not like the recording of a conviction and it does not become part of a person's criminal record. However, you must obtain expert legal advice before making this decision because once an Order is made any allegation of breach will result in arrest and charge and possible imprisonment.

If you do not consent the application will be adjourned to another day for a "show cause hearing". At that hearing, the Court will hear evidence and determine whether Interim Orders are necessary in all of the circumstances.

The matter will then be adjourned again for a final hearing. At that hearing all parties will need to give evidence and the Court will decide if the PINOP does in fact have fears and that the fears are reasonable. This hearing is not a criminal proceeding and the PINOP only needs to prove these matters on the balance of probabilities, not the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you breach an AVO you can be charged with the offence of contravene AVO. The maximum penalty for contravening an AVO is a fine of $5,500 and a prison sentence for 2 years.

Section 14(4) of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal violence) Act states that unless the court otherwise orders, a person who is convicted of an offence of contravening an AVO must be sentenced to a jail term if the offence involved an act of violence against a person.

Lenz Legal will provide you with expert advice regarding applications for AVO's necessary to protect your interests and reduce costs. Call us now to see just what is possible.

Lenz Legal specialises in Australian Family Law and Criminal Law offering a high level of expertise including Personal Violence Orders that help protect those who do not live in a domestic situation with the alleged perpetrators.