How Long Does An AVO Last? (NSW) | Armstrong Legal

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This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom - Content Editor - Brisbane

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has also completed a Master’s in Writing and Literature. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory and in family law in Queensland.

How Long Does An AVO Last? (NSW)


In New South Wales, an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) can be made by a court where a person fears violence, intimidation or stalking by another person on reasonable grounds. AVOs are governed by the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007. An AVO can be made on an interim or a final basis. This article outlines how long an AVO lasts in NSW.

APVOs and PVOs

An AVO may be an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) or an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO). An ADVO is made between two people who are or have been in a domestic relationship. An APVO is made between two people who have not been in a domestic relationship.

Applying for an AVO

When a person applies for an AVO in NSW, the application must be served on the defendant. The matter will then be mentioned in the Local Court (or in the Children’s Court if the defendant is under 18).

If the defendant consents to the order sought, the court will generally make the final order on the spot.

If the defendant opposes the order, the matter will be set down for a contested hearing where parties will call evidence and then the court will make a decision as to whether the order is warranted. When a matter is adjourned for a hearing, it is common for the court to make an interim AVO to protect the person seeking protection until the matter has been finalised.

Interim AVOs

Under section 24 of the Act, an interim AVO has the same effect as a final AVO and remains in force until the matter is decided on a final basis or until it is revoked.

Final AVOs

Under section 79, the court may make an AVPO for as long as it considers necessary to ensure the protection of the protected person. If the court does not specify the period of the order, it remains in force for 12 months.

Under section 79A, the court may make an ADVO for as long a period as it considers necessary to ensure the protection of the protected person. If the court does not specify the period of the order, it remains in force for:

  • Two years from the date the order is made, if the defendant is an adult;
  • One year from the date the order is made if the defendant is under 18.

In assessing how long the order needs to remain in place, the court must consider:

  • the circumstances of the defendant (and if the defendant is under 18 when the application was made, the impact of making an order for more than the default period of one year);
  • the circumstances of the protected person and their view;
  • any material the court relied on when deciding to make the order;
  • any other matter the court considers relevant.

Getting an AVO varied, revoked or extended

A party to an AVO can apply to the court to have the order varied, revoked or extended under section 73.

The court may vary an AVO in one or more of the following ways:

  • extending or reducing the period it is in force;
  • changing or removing prohibitions included on the order;
  • specifying additional prohibitions on the order.

The court may decline to hear an application to vary or revoke an AVO if there has been no change in circumstances since the order was made.

Does an AVO show up on a police check?

An AVO is a civil matter and does not show up on a police check. However, if a person is found guilty of breaching the conditions of an AVO, this is a criminal offence and will appear on the person’s police check and criminal history.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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