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Domestic Violence and ADVO

This brief article discusses the offences of Domestic Violence and Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders.

What is Domestic Violence?

Violence or a violent act is a serious criminal offence in Australia.  If violence leads to serious bodily harm or life threatening results, the criminal charge is Assault occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH).  Domestic Violence includes violence, violent acts, assaults or threats which become aggravated by the relationship between the offender and the victim.  Under Section 11 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) domestic violence includes:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Psychological or Emotional abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Stalking
  • Intimidation or Harassment
  • Social abuse, including controls, intimidation, isolation
  • Spiritual abuse, including enforcing a person to a belief out of their will.

What is an ADVO?

Anyone who experiences domestic violence can apply to the court to get an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO).  Regardless of the threat of future violence, the court will impose the necessary restrictions of an ADVO.  ADVO is an order of the court that seeks to protect people in violent domestic relationships, known as the protected person,  from certain actions by the defendant, such as assault, intimidation, attempting to contact the protected person or coming to the home of the protected person, among other acts.  While the legislation regarding ADVOs are common and rigid throughout Australia, the various states and territories have certain adjustments and particulars in their laws.

Who can Apply for an ADVO?

Anyone who fears for their safety can apply for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO).  There are two types of AVO, one applies to domestic relationships (ADVO) and the other applies when there is no domestic relationship, Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO).

For the purpose of the act, Section 11Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) a domestic relationship includes any person is or has been in a marriage or intimate relationship, is or has lived in the same household and is or has been a relative.

AVO applications are usually made by the police on behalf of the person in need of protection.  However, the person in need of protection can also make an application and the lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight are happy to assist you and make an application on your behalf.

When does the Court Impose an ADVO?

The court will impose an ADVO against someone if  Section 16 Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) is satisfied, this includes:

  • The court rules that there are reasonable grounds to fear and in fact fears them
  • The court rules that intimidation has been involved
  • The court rules that stalking has been involved
  • The court deems the reported actions necessitate an ADVO

How can BSM Lawyers help You?

ADVO is usually handled by criminal lawyers, because sometimes an ADVO is associated with criminal charges.  However our family lawyers also have extensive experience in this area and can assist clients in ADVO applications and family violence.  We have experience defending ADVOs and applying for ADVOs.

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

We are conveniently located in Sutherland, Parramatta, Wollongong and Sydney CBD.

FAQ

chevronIf I breached an AVO I did not know about, am I still guilty of an offence?

You will not be guilty of an offence if you were not served with a copy of the AVO or present in court when the order was made.

chevronWill I get a criminal record if I have committed a domestic violence offence?

If you plead or are found to be guilty of committing a domestic violence offence, the court will record the offence on your criminal record as a domestic violence offence.

chevronCan an AVO restrict my access to property that I own?

Yes, a court may impose a prohibition or restriction on your access to a premises that is occupied by a person protected by an AVO regardless of whether you have a legal or equitable interest in the property or place.

chevronWhat matters may the court take into account when considering whether to make an AVO?

There are various considerations a court must make when deciding whether or not to make an AVO. These considerations are found in s17 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW), they are as follows:

  • The safety of the protected person,
  • The safety of any child directly or indirectly affected by the defendant’s alleged conduct,
  • The effects and consequences of an order restricting access to the defendant’s residence on the safety and protection of the protected person and any children living or ordinarily living at the residence,
  • Any hardship that may be caused by the making the order, particularly to the protected person and any children,
  • The accommodation needs of all relevant parties, in particular the protected person and any children, and
  • Any matter that is considered relevant.

chevronIs it a criminal offence to get an ADVO?

No, getting an ADVO is not a criminal offence in your national criminal history check.  However, it requires you to respect court orders that forbid you from certain actions and places.  It may also restrict your rights including

  • Preventing you from owning a firearm if you’ve been issued an ADVO within the last 10 years under the ss11(5C) fo the Firearms Licence
  • Inability to get a security licence for a proven offence of stalking or intimidation under r18 of the Security Industry Regulations Act of 2007

While an ADVO is not a criminal offence, breaching an offence an ADVO is a criminal offence which will show up on a national police check.

chevronWho can apply for an AVO or ADVO?

Anyone who fears for their safety can apply for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO).  There are two types of AVO, one applies to domestic relationships (ADVO) and the other applies when there is no domestic relationship, Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO).  AVO applications are usually made by the police on behalf of the person in need of protection.  However, the person in need of protection can also make an application and the lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight are happy to assist you and make an application on your behalf.

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