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An AVO can be granted if both the defendant and the protected person consent to the order being made. You can consent to the AVO without having to admit to what you are accused of.
The benefit of having orders made by consent is that there is no hearing. This reduces costs, time and the inconvenience of giving evidence.
However, it is important to carefully consider the consequences of an AVO being made. If an order is made, and you are then alleged of breaching it, then you could be charged with a criminal offence. At the same time, it is important to note that an AVO is not a conviction and thus will not give you a criminal record.
If you do not consent to the AVO and the AVO application is sought by the protected person, the matter will be adjourned to another day for a "show cause hearing". At the hearing, the court will hear evidence from both sides and any witnesses from each side. The protected person must show the court why an AVO should be granted. The court must be satisfied that:
Although an AVO hearing is similar to a hearing for a criminal offence, it is not a criminal proceeding. The protected person only needs to prove his or her case on the balance of probabilities, which is a lower standard than beyond reasonable doubt.
The disadvantages of this are that costs will be greater if parties have lawyers. Moreover, a hearing can strain the continuing relationship of the parties.
If a party doesn't turn up (either personally or through a lawyer):
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.