Apprehended Domestic or Personal Violence Orders
(“ADVO” OR “APVO”)
There are two types of AVO:
- If the people involved live together (or used or) or have (or had) an intimate relationship, then the correct order is usually the ADVO.
- If the people involved know each other, but they’re not related or have never had an intimate relationship, but they have reason to have a disagreement, such as a neighbour, or acquaintance, the correct order is usually the APVO.
The ADVO and/or APVO are often called an AVO. There are slightly different rules that relate to them, but generally speaking they have a lot in common. This will explain some of the common elements of the AVO.
The background to an AVO is two or more people involved in disagreement, and one of them feels threatened by the other. They may feel threatened because of stalking, intimidation, harassment, direct threats, or the like, and this harassment or threats may be by phone or text or in person – any actions by a person that result in another person(s) being afraid.
A person can apply to the courts for an AVO (a private AVO), or they can ask them police to apply for the AVO, on their behalf.
The person feeling threatened (called the: person in need of protection, called the PINOP) asks the court to make an AVO for their safety and protection. An AVO is a Court Order that prohibits the defendant doing certain things that are resulting in the fear the pinop is experiencing.
Having an AVO against you is not a crime. It is simply a Court Order that a defendant does not do certain things to the protected person(s). However breaching an AVO (ADVO or APVO) is a criminal offence. Put another way, having an AVO against you is simply a court order that a defendant does not do certain things to the protected person (pinop). As long as the defendant doesn’t do any of the things, they have not broken the law. The defendant only breaks the law if they breach the AVO.
Generally an AVO is in place for 6m, 12m or 2 years.
If a defendant breaches an ADVO or APVO they can be fined up to $5,500, or face gaol of up to 2 years. It depends how serious the breach. If the breach involves actual physical violence against the pinop (or the pinop’s family), the defendant can expect to go to gaol.