Repute Law

(7.00 am to 11.00 pm, 7 days)

Do you know anything about Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) in NSW?

Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO) in NSW: A Comprehensive Overview to what they are and the legal consequences that follow.

Understanding the Apprehended Violence (NSW) order process in NSW can be distressing to all parties, therefore it is crucial to be well-informed and ready to navigate the complexities that come with this order effectively. Whether that be working out how to apply for an AVO, alter or revoke the AVO, how to defend an AVO or if you have been charged with a breach of AVO, Repute Law, one of Australia’s premier criminal law firms, will guide you through this challenging process.

What is an AVO?

An AVO is a legal order designed to protect people who fear violence or intimidation from another individual. This order can be sought either by the individual seeking protection (referred to as the protected person) or by the police on their behalf.

There are two types of AVOs in NSW:

  1. ADVO (Apprehended Domestic Violence Order) – protects a person from another person that they are currently in a domestic relationship with or have been in a domestic relationship with.
  2. APVO (Apprehended Personal Violence Order) – protects a person from another person from violence no matter the relationship. These orders are usually used in the instance of a colleague or even neighbour.

The Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) gives the courts and police the power to issue AVOs to protect people from all forms of domestic and family violence.

When the AVO is applied for either individually or through the courts, the courts will usually grant the issue of an Interim AVO to give the matter time to be investigated further.

It is essential that you understand the conditions listed on the order as it will usually include restrictions on communication, forced removal from the shared residence, damage to one’s personal and professional reputation and or the distance in which you must stay from the person in need of protection (PINOP). As well as any other condition the courts deem necessary to protect the PINOP. These restrictions will remain in place for either the duration of the AVO or alternatively until the court decides on the matter.

Who can apply to withdraw an AVO?

  1. Person in need of protection – depending on how the AVO is obtained will determine how it can be withdrawn. If the PINOP applies for the AVO, they will be able ask that the AVO be withdrawn as the situation has changed during the interim period. However, if it has been finalised the PINOP will need to file an application to the local court to have the order revoked. It is essential to have a legal professional look over the order and any evidence that suggests the situation as change and you are no longer in need of protection to ensure the AVO is revoked.
  2. The Police – This option is a little more complicated as the police are involve in the application for the decision whether an AVO should be withdrawn or revoked. The PINOP can request this happen, however, may require the assistance of an experienced senior criminal defence lawyer to ensure all the correct evidence is provided to the police and so that your case can be argued successfully.
  3. The defendant – an experienced criminal defence lawyer can assist in getting the AVO withdrawn or altered. Representations can be made to the police or the applicants (PINOPs lawyer) seeking a formal withdrawal and the reasons behind the request. If the police agree, an application case be made for the AVO to be withdrawn, and the matter finalised without any further intervention and all restrictions will be eased. However, if the representations are not agreed to at the hearing a magistrate will look at all the evidence provided and determine whether or not the AVO will proceed to finalisation.

Breaching an AVO:

AVOs are a civil matter rather than a criminal one. However, you may face criminal charges if you violate the conditions of the order. S14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act sets out the penalties if convicted of breaching an AVO including fines and imprisonment of up to 2 years.

If you have been charged with an AVO offence such as a breach, it is essential to understand the potential defences available to you. Such defences include:

  1. The defendant may not know there is an order in place usually due to not being in court when the order is made and not having it served by the police.
  2. The defendant may contact the protected party by accident.
  3. The defendant may breach the order if they are under duress or are forced to do the act which is prohibited by the order.
  4. The defendant may have committed the offence but was relying on an honest and reasonable mistaken fact about the matter.

Furthermore, other common defences include challenging the evidence provided by the prosecution, demonstrating lack of intent or reasonable fear, or presenting evidence of false allegations. Our team will carefully examine your case to identify the most effective defence tailored to your circumstances.


Repute Law is one of Australia ‘s leading criminal law firms, with a team comprised solely of court lawyers who are Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers. Unlike other firms, we don’t delegate court appearances to junior lawyers. Our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers personally handle each case, ensuring unparalleled expertise and attention to detail.

We pride ourselves on providing exceptional client service, so we assign every client a dedicated Case Concierge®—a qualified lawyer who will guide and support you throughout the process. This guarantees you are Court Ready®, fully prepared for your day in Court. This service is unique to Repute Law and encompasses things like what to wear and how to address the Court.

Navigating the complexities of Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) can be overwhelming. To ensure the best possible outcome and protect your rights, seeking expert legal advice from Repute Law is crucial. We understand the gravity of the situation and are committed to providing you with exceptional client service and defence strategies customised to your situation.

Share this


Lastest Posts

Do you know how to respond to a police search in NSW?

Police Searches: How to respond when faced with police searches in NSW? When confronted with a police search, it’s crucial to comprehend the legal framework governing such actions. The law in New South Wales requires that police adhere to certain procedures during searches to ensure they are conducted lawfully. Any

Read More

Are you subject to cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying: Here’s what you need to know In today’s digital age, cyberbullying has emerged as a significant societal issue, with far-reaching consequences. If you’re grappling with cyberbullying charges in New South Wales, comprehending the legal framework and your defence options is paramount. Penned by a seasoned legal expert from Repute

Read More