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Domestic Violence and ADVO

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 protects 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.  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.


chevronIs it a criminal offence to get an ADVO?

Is 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

However, 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 makes an ADVO?

Who makes an ADVO?

The afflicted party will make and ADVO request to the court.  If the court deems a condition requires a ADVO on a guilty party, the court will then enforce the ADVO with strict punishments in the case of a breach.  The police may also enforce an ADVO order if certain reasons present themselves.

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