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There are 2 types of Apprehended Violence Order. The first relates to domestic relationships, such as intimate partners, siblings and housemates. The second relates to personal relationships, such as friends, neighbours and workmates.
Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO) are far more common than Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVO).
An ADVO will usually be applied for by NSW Police on behalf of the "person in need of protection (PINOP)" after a complaint of domestic violence has been made. NSW Police then have the responsibility of taking the ADVO application through the court process. In the meantime, the PINOP is protected by a Provisional or Interim ADVO that remains in force until the court process is finalised.
It is much less common for NSW Police to apply for an APVO. Typically it is up to the person seeking the order to apply directly to the Local Court.
A Final AVO can be made either by the consent of the parties or by the Local Court after a hearing. Once a Final AVO is in place any of the interested parties can apply to the Local Court to change it or to cancel it.
An AVO is a civil order of the court that aims to regulate behaviour, it is not a criminal charge or a criminal conviction. However, breaching any of the conditions of an AVO is a criminal offence with maximum penalties of up to a fine of $5,500.00 and/or 2 years imprisonment.
Facing the issue of an AVO often occurs during very difficult and emotional times, such as relationship breakdown. An AVO will often have much greater consequences than what would appear on the surface, such as access to children and property.
It is very important that you obtain comprehensive legal advice about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to an AVO. We are very experienced in all areas of ADVO and APVO and invite you to contact Cassandra or Robert from our office for a confidential and no-obligation discussion.