AVO & Restraining Order Lawyers Sydney

What is an AVO?

An apprehended violence order is an order for your protection. It sets out restrictions on the other person’s behaviour for your safety. If you have children, the order will also protect them.

Sometimes referred to as restraining or protection orders, AVOs are designed to protect you where:

  • someone has hurt you or your child
  • you are scared that someone will hurt you or your child
  • someone is intimidating, harassing, or stalking you or your child

How do I apply for an AVO?

There are two ways you can apply for an AVO. You can apply yourself – this is called a private application, or the police can make an application on your behalf.

To get an AVO you will need to show that there are reasonable grounds for you to fear the defendant.

You should report any inciden​ts to the police.

Will I have a criminal record?

An AVO is not a criminal charge. This means that if an AVO is made against you it will not appear on your criminal record. However, an AVO can affect your employment prospects.

If a prospective employer does a “working with children” check it will show any final AVO which is made for the protection of a child. If you are planning a career that involves contact with children an AVO could limit your prospects.

A person who has an AVO against them can’t hold a firearms license while it is in force and for 10 years after it finishes. If you intend to work in the security sector, or on a farm where a firearm is needed, an AVO could prevent you from carrying out that work.

Breaching an AVO

While having an AVO against you does not result in a criminal record, breaching an AVO is a criminal offence and could result in a jail term of up to 2 years.

If someone has lied to obtain an AVO against you think carefully before agreeing to it. They could lie again to police saying you have breached it.

If an AVO is breached by violence, the law provides that the penalty must be a jail term except in exceptional circumstances.

Dropping an AVO

Having an AVO dropped is not easy and very few matters are withdrawn by the police. This is deliberate to reduce instances of domestic and family violence, and to deter repeat offenders.

Even if the alleged victim does not want an AVO, the police can take one against someone they suspect may have committed a domestic violence offence.

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