Apprehended Personal Violence Orders Sydney.
Your Criminal Lawyers in Sydney & Brisbane
Assisting clients in obtaining APVOs, which protect individuals from non-domestic violence-related threats or acts of violence, such as stalking, harassment, or intimidation.
At CG Legal, we understand the significance of safeguarding individuals from non-domestic violence-related threats or acts of violence.
Ensuring Protection from Non-Domestic Violence Incidents.
Our dedicated team of legal experts specialises in assisting clients in obtaining Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVOs), offering crucial protection from incidents such as stalking, harassment, or intimidation.
Our Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVO) Services:
Comprehensive Assessment: We conduct a thorough assessment of the situation, ensuring that an APVO is the appropriate measure to address the non-domestic violence-related threats or incidents.
Expert Legal Advice: Our team provides expert legal guidance on the process of obtaining an APVO, explaining the necessary steps and requirements.
Compelling APVO Applications: We prepare compelling APVO applications, presenting evidence of threats, stalking, harassment, or intimidation to demonstrate the need for immediate protection.
Customised Protection Measures: We advocate for personalised APVOs tailored to address the specific forms of non-domestic violence involved.
Advocacy for Your Safety: Our experienced attorneys passionately advocate for your safety and well-being during APVO hearings, seeking the necessary orders to protect you from further harm.
Ongoing Support: Beyond obtaining the APVO, we provide ongoing support, resources, and referrals to help you cope with the situation.
Apprehended Violence Orders in New South Wales (NSW)
In NSW, restraining orders are known as Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs), governed primarily by the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007. These orders are legal mechanisms aimed at safeguarding victims of personal violence from various forms of abuse, including physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse.
There are two types of AVOs in NSW:
1. Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO): These orders apply when the parties have a domestic relationship, live together, share a residential facility, have a carer relationship, or an intimate relationship. This includes individuals who were previously in such relationships.
2. Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO): APVOs are for situations where there’s abuse between individuals who are not related and do not share a domestic relationship, such as neighbors or work colleagues.
Applying for an AVO in NSW
A person can apply for an AVO on their own behalf, or the police can apply for an AVO to protect an individual. In cases where police fear for someone’s safety, they may issue a provisional order temporarily until the matter reaches court, primarily in situations involving reported domestic violence and urgent protection needs. These provisional orders do not require court approval. In some instances, the police are legally obligated to seek a provisional ADVO, especially when a domestic violence or stalking offense is suspected.
To apply for an ADVO or APVO, an individual can do so independently or with legal assistance by submitting an application at their local court. The defendant will be served the application, and a hearing date will be scheduled. The defendant must attend court on that date if they wish to oppose the order, as the order may be made in their absence if they fail to appear.
When Will a Court Make an AVO in NSW?
Court-Ordered Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders: A court may issue an ADVO between two individuals who have or had a domestic relationship, which includes partners, ex-partners, and various relatives. The court will grant an ADVO if it believes that the applicant, who has or had a domestic relationship with the defendant, fears that the defendant will commit domestic violence. In some cases, it’s not necessary to prove fear, particularly when the protected person is a child under 16. The court considers factors such as the impact on children, hardships, and accommodation needs of the parties when deciding to issue an ADVO.
Court-Ordered Apprehended Personal Violence Orders: An APVO applies to individuals who have not been in a domestic relationship. The court can issue an APVO to protect one or more people if the applicant reasonably fears violence by the defendant or if the defendant has engaged in conduct amounting to intimidation or stalking. The court may also grant an APVO without the need to prove fear in specific circumstances, such as when the applicant is a child. The court takes similar factors into account when deciding on APVOs.
Conditions Included in an AVO in NSW
Under section 36 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007, all AVOs in NSW must include conditions prohibiting the defendant from assaulting, threatening, molesting, harassing, interfering with, stalking, or damaging the property of the protected person. Additional conditions may be imposed by the court as needed for the protected person’s safety, such as restricting the defendant from approaching the protected person or consuming alcohol or illicit drugs within 12 hours of interaction.
Penalty for Breaching an AVO
Although an AVO is a civil order, breaching it constitutes a criminal offence. A person found guilty of breaching an AVO may face a fine of up to 50 penalty units or a two-year prison sentence. It’s crucial to report any AVO breaches to the police promptly.
Duration of an AVO
AVOs typically specify their expiration dates, with the court determining the period necessary for the protected person’s safety. If no expiry is mentioned in an ADVO for an adult defendant, it remains in force for two years from the date of issuance. If the defendant is under 18 and no expiry date is set, the order remains in force for 12 months. In the case of an APVO, if no expiry is specified, it remains in force for 12 months.
Changing or Canceling an AVO
An AVO in NSW can be changed or canceled when there has been a change in circumstances. An application to modify or revoke an AVO can be submitted to a local court by a police officer or any interested party (defendant or protected person) while the AVO is still in effect. The application should outline the reasons for canceling or amending the AVO, and a solicitor can assist in completing the application to suit individual circumstances.
Legal Rights and Support.
Your Rights and Protections Under a Protection Order It’s crucial to understand your rights and protections once a Domestic Violence Protection Order is granted. These orders typically prohibit the abuser from approaching or contacting you, but they can also include other specific conditions tailored to your situation. Knowing your rights ensures that you can assert yourself confidently if the order is violated. At CG Legal, we educate our clients about their rights and help them enforce their orders effectively.
Support Services Available in Sydney, NSW Dealing with domestic violence can be emotionally and mentally challenging. In Sydney, there are various support services and organisations that can provide assistance, counselling, and guidance. These services can help you cope with the emotional trauma associated with domestic violence and offer resources for your recovery. We can connect you with local support services and assist you in accessing the help you need.
Accessing Legal Aid If you are concerned about the legal costs associated with obtaining a Domestic Violence Protection Order in Sydney, it’s essential to know that legal aid is available. Legal Aid NSW provides assistance to eligible individuals who require legal representation. We can help you determine if you qualify for legal aid and guide you through the application process, ensuring that you have the legal support you need.
Domestic Violence Prevention and Resources
Understanding the Cycle of Domestic Violence Understanding the dynamics of domestic violence is essential for both victims and their support networks. Recognising the cycle of violence, which often involves a pattern of tension, violence, and reconciliation, can empower individuals to seek help and break free from the cycle. Our experts can provide guidance on recognising and responding to these patterns.
Domestic Violence Hotlines and Crisis Intervention In times of crisis, it’s crucial to have immediate access to support. Sydney offers various domestic violence hotlines and crisis intervention services that provide assistance 24/7. Knowing these contact details and how to use them is essential in emergencies. We can provide you with a list of important hotline numbers and information on how to seek immediate help.
Supportive Community Resources Sydney has a network of community organisations and resources dedicated to supporting domestic violence victims. These resources can offer shelter, counselling, legal advice, and emotional support. CG Legal can connect you with these organisations, helping you access the help and resources you need to rebuild your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is often misunderstood as a criminal charge, but it’s a civil matter. While it can be linked to criminal charges, ADVOs are fundamentally civil in nature. Therefore, a person does not receive a criminal conviction due to an ADVO. In simple terms, an ADVO is a legal order that restricts a person from engaging in specific actions concerning another individual with whom they share a “domestic relationship.” These restrictions aim to ensure the safety and protection of the person. The person being safeguarded is referred to as the “Person In Need Of Protection” (PINOP), and the person against whom the order is issued is the “defendant.”
For an ADVO to be issued, there must be a “domestic relationship” between the involved parties. The term “domestic relationship” is broadly defined under Section 5(1) of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007. It includes relationships arising from marriage, de facto relationships, intimate personal relationships (including those of a sexual nature), shared households, shared residential facilities, caregiving relationships, familial relationships, and Indigenous kinship systems for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander individuals.
Moreover, the definition extends to encompass situations where the defendant and the PINOP share a domestic relationship of the kind mentioned above if the defendant has also had a similar relationship with the PINOP. For instance, an ex-spouse and a new spouse both have a domestic relationship due to their shared relationship with the same person.
This broad definition encompasses most daily interpersonal relationships.
Applications for ADVOs can be made by the person in need of protection (the potential victim), a guardian of the person in need of protection, or a police officer. In most cases, police officers file applications for ADVOs, often alongside criminal charges. Police officers can apply for a provisional ADVO or initiate a future application. The former takes immediate effect, while the latter is determined by a court. Police primarily issue provisional ADVOs, as the law may require them to do so to ensure urgent protection.
A senior police officer (Sergeant or above) can issue a person with a provisional ADVO, and any police officer can request this issuance to a senior police officer. Police can do this if they have good reason to believe that an immediate provisional order is necessary to ensure the person’s safety or prevent significant property damage. Police are inclined to issue provisional ADVOs in many cases to avoid potential blame in case of any domestic violence incidents. Additionally, certain circumstances mandate police officers to issue provisional ADVOs, such as when a domestic violence offence, stalking, or intimidation has been committed or is likely to be committed, or when a child abuse offence is involved.
If a provisional ADVO is issued, it must be listed in court on the next domestic violence list day, which typically occurs once a week. This listing must take place within 28 days of the provisional ADVO’s issuance.
Breaching a provisional ADVO has the same legal consequences as violating a court-issued ADVO. The person will be charged with contravening an apprehended violence order under Section 14 of the Act.
The court can alter the conditions of a provisional ADVO upon application by the defendant or the PINOP. The court will evaluate the need for the variation based on the case’s circumstances, and the PINOP’s support for the change often influences the court’s decision.
A “property recovery order” under Section 37 of the Act enables the court to specify a time and date for the defendant to retrieve their belongings from a shared residence. These orders are usually facilitated by the police or a mutually agreed-upon third party.
The court assesses whether the defendant wants to accept or challenge the ADVO. If the defendant accepts it, a “final order” is issued and remains in effect for a specified period. If the defendant contests the ADVO, the court schedules a hearing for the matter’s determination.
The burden of proof lies with the applicant to convince the court to issue an ADVO. The court may grant an ADVO if it is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that a person with a domestic relationship has reasonable grounds to fear domestic violence offences, intimidating conduct, stalking, or other conduct warranting the order’s issuance.