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Sydney: (02) 9261 4555
This page is designed to answer most of the questions you may have in relation to an AVO.
In NSW the law makes it clear that police must make an application for an AVO if they suspect or believe that a domestic violence offence (DVO) has recently been or is being committed, or is imminent, or is likely to be committed, against the person for whose protection an order would be made.
The NSW Police have an internal domestic and family violence policy. This policy makes includes the following quote:
"The NSW Police Force will use a proactive approach in dealing with offenders. This approach requires police to not only respond to incidents of domestic and family violence and give strongest consideration to arrest, but to develop strategies to reduce the negative behaviour of offenders who have had AVO applications consistently withdrawn."
"The NSW Police Force is committed to using all lawful means to policing domestic and family violence. This includes wherever possible, removing offenders from the victim, taking out an AVO on behalf of victims and any children living or spending time with the victim (whether they are by consent or not), investigating breaches of AVOs, and developing solutions to managing repeat offenders."
For over a decade the NSW Police have had a policy to actively arrest alleged offenders of domestic violence despite the wishes of the alleged victim. In November 2008 the NSW Police service published a domestic and family violence policy. The NSW Police have an internal domestic and family violence policy. This policy makes includes the following quote:
"The NSW Police Force encourages police to give the strongest consideration to arrest offenders of domestic and family violence. The safety, protection and wellbeing of victims are of paramount concern to police."
"The NSW Police Force enforces a pro prosecution response to the investigation and management of domestic and family violence. Charges will be laid against offenders where evidence exists to support criminal charges."
The answer is yes, but rarely occurs. It is clear that the NSW Police are determined that alleged domestic violence offenders are prosecuted before the courts for their actions. Unfortunately, this often means that most cases continue to court are proceeded with despite the merit of the submissions made by the alleged victim or alleged offender.
The NSW Police service's domestic and family violence policy also states:
"Offenders of violence will be held accountable and challenged to take responsibility for their actions."
If the alleged victim in a domestic violence case does not appear at court a number of things may occur including:
An AVO is not a criminal charge and if the court makes an AVO you wont get a criminal record. However, you and AVO can have some serious consequences. They include:
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.
If you want to agree with an AVO or don't care if one is made there may be no real advantage in having a lawyer appear for you. Although, they can take the fear out of the court appearance for you.
If you disagree with the making of an AVO we recommend that you use a lawyer who specialises in criminal law and has experience in running hearings in the local court in domestic violence matters. You really need a lawyer who is good at cross examination.
Every AVO, must, without exception, include the following mandatory conditions. This applies to AVOs commenced privately as well as AVOs commenced by the Police:-
Other Conditions that can be Imposed
The Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 also allows the Court to impose other conditions on the defendant. Additional conditions can be sought by the applicant to the AVO and are imposed at the discretion of the Court: The Act gives the Court the power to impose broad and onerous conditions as part of an AVO. These conditions can include:-
whether or not the defendant has a legal or equitable interest in the premises or place.
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.