1. What is an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) and what are my options if I have been issued with one?
An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) restricts or prohibits a person from engaging in certain activities and behaviour such as assault, threats, stalking etc. In circumstances where a person has been charged/found guilty of the offences of stalking, intimidation or a domestic violence offence than the court must impose an AVO.
If you are issued with an AVO there are three options:
- withdrawal of the complaint and the giving of undertakings,
- consenting to the AVO but without admissions, or
- moving forward to a contested hearing.
2. What happens in circumstances where the victim wants to withdraw charges that were laid against you?
There is nothing you can do to have the charges withdrawn once the police have charged you. The police are entitled to prosecute the matter even if the victim wishes to withdraw the charges. Further, a victim that changes their story could be similarly charged or even found guilty of perjury if they lie in the stand.
3. What happens if a person breaches an AVO?
A breach of an AVO is a criminal offence. If you are suspected of breaching an AVO you can be arrested. A breach of an AVO is very serious and, if found guilty, a custodial sentence (jail term) may be imposed by the court.