What Happens When An AVO Expires In NSW?

What Happens When An AVO Expires In NSW?

What Happens When An AVO Expires In NSW

Having an apprehended violence order (AVO) issued against you can continue to impact your life long after it has expired. Concerns about whether the orders appear on a police check and what happens after it expires are common for individuals who have received an AVO. Find out more about what happens after an AVO expires, what restrictions remain, and how you can vary or revoke the order. Let’s take a closer look.

What Is An AVO?

The court issues an apprehended violence order (AVO) to protect an applicant who fears imminent violence toward them from another person. The order will contain conditions which must be adhered to, or parties risk severe penalties and charges. Such as limitations regarding contact with the protected person, including their workplace and home.

The two types of AVOs are ADVO and APVO. Apprehended domestic violence orders (ADVO) are made between two people who were or are in a domestic relationship. Apprehended personal violence orders (APVO) are made to protect a person when there is no domestic relationship.

In other states, an AVO may be referred to as:

  • Restraining order – WA
  • Intervention order – VIC and SA
  • Domestic violence protection order – QLD
  • Family violence order – TAS
  • Domestic violence order – NT and ACT

Who Can Apply For An AVO?

Anyone who feels threatened by an individual or organisation can seek protection from personal and domestic violence by applying for an AVO. They can apply directly through the court or at any police station.

Parents, guardians or representatives can apply for children under 14 years old.

Apprehended violence order legislation falls under state jurisdiction, and in New South Wales, it is the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007. 

A senior police officer also has the authority to make AVO applications on behalf of individuals and, when necessary, can do so without their consent to keep a protected person safe.

When Will The Court Issue An AVO?

When a person acts with threatening behaviour and has the potential to continue to behave in an intimidating manner, the court can rule that the victim has reasonable grounds to fear and issue an AVO for their protection. Behaviours that may invoke an order include; stalking, intimidation, or threats of violence. An AVO can be issued when violence has occurred and if there is threatened violence against a person.

Can An AVO Become A Criminal Offence?

Someone with an AVO must appear in court for their hearing. If they fail to attend, the court will issue the order regardless.

If the conditions stated in the apprehended violence order are breached or disregarded at any time, it is a criminal offence which can receive severe penalties, including a fine and imprisonment.

Does An AVO Appear On A Police Check?

A police check is a document which states a person’s character and legal history. 

An apprehended violence order (AVO) is an order that is based on a potential personal violence offence. The offence has not occurred, but there is a high risk that the defendant will act, hence the reason for the order. Whilst no crime has been committed, the defendant will continue to have a clear police check unless a defendant breaches a condition stated in the apprehended violence order. A breach is a criminal offence which will appear on a person’s record and show on a police check.

Having an AVO is not a criminal offence. Still, it will be recorded on your criminal history record and the police database, which can affect an individual’s ability to work with children, obtain a firearms licence and family law matters.

How Long Does An AVO Order Last?

An apprehended violence order is governed by state legislation, and conditions can vary depending on where the AVO was issued. In all cases, the court will continue to uphold an AVO if the protected person feels unsafe. When the order is granted, the court may specify how long the order will be valid or as per the default period. Generally, an AVO will be valid for a minimum of 12 months. It can be altered or adjusted during this time to ensure that the order is suited to the case’s individual circumstances.

For apprehended domestic violence orders, the default is a minimum period of two years.

What Happens After An Avo Expires?

If a protected person still feels unsafe after an AVO expires, they can apply for an extension of the apprehended violence order with their local court.

For the defendant, once the AVO is expired, the conditions and previous restrictions in the order are no longer valid, and they will have more freedom of movement. Unfortunately, receiving an apprehended violence order will continue to restrict your ability to own a firearm or obtain a licence for ten years, which can heavily impact individuals with a career in security or the armed forces.

An AVO will not appear on your criminal record, but it will be recorded on your criminal history, which may affect your ability to:

  • Obtain employment in specific sectors, particularly with roles working with children.
  • Influence your ability to obtain a rental property.
  • Negatively impact future family law matters.
  • Restrict travel to specific destinations for a certain period
  • Obtain a firearms or security licence

Can You Extend, Reduce Or Cancel An Apprehended Violence Order?

Apprehended violence orders can be adjusted as necessary during the period that it is current. A protected person is entitled to extend the AVO until the last day it is in force. The AVO will remain in place until a court date is set. 

The court will only grant permission to amend or change an order if there has been a significant change in circumstances since issuing the AVO. Several variations can be made, such as:

  • Extending the duration when a person continues to feel unsafe and requires continual protection
  • Reducing the duration if the order has achieved its objective and fewer restrictions can be considered
  • Adding additional orders/conditions incorporating new restrictions to increase safety precautions for the protected person
  • Deleting orders if they are no longer required or necessary
  • Changing orders to make the conditions more relevant to the specific circumstances

If both parties do not agree to vary or revoke the order, the applicant and the protected person must prepare written statements outlining their case, concerns and explanations as to why the order should or shouldn’t be amended. A court hearing will occur, and oral evidence may be required.

Before applying to vary or revoke an apprehended violence order, it is crucial that you seek professional advice from an experienced lawyer.

How Do You Vary Or Revoke An AVO?

To vary or revoke an apprehended violence order, you complete an application form which can only be obtained from the court’s registry department.

Registry staff are available to offer assistance in completing the form, and once completed, it will need to be filed with the local court. It is unnecessary to return to the same court that issued the AVO. It is acceptable to apply to any local court in NSW.

After filing the application form, registry staff will advise when the court will consider the application. Attendance at court is essential, or the application may be dismissed.

Serving An Application

When someone applies to vary or revoke an apprehended violence order, they must serve a copy of the application to each party involved. This means the document must be served personally or put down close by in the presence of the protected person unless the court orders otherwise. They must also state what paper they are serving. The application must be appropriately served as it may impact the court’s ability to vary or revoke the AVO.

A police officer can serve the application on their behalf if the defendant cannot approach the protected person. The police can also serve the notice when the defendant is in prison.

If a police officer has issued the original AVO, the defendant can serve a copy of the application to the Commissioner of Police.

You should obtain professional legal advice if you are unsure about any aspects of serving the document.

Interstate Domestic Violence Orders

If you need to vary or revoke an apprehended domestic violence order, there are certain factors that the court will consider:

  • Where the protected person and defendant live
  • Any difficulties for the protected person to attend court 
  • Any pending DVO breaches
  • Practicalities of having an apprehended domestic violence order issued against the defendant
  • Impact of any children involved in the dispute
  • Other relevant matters

Provisional AVO

If the police believe there are reasonable grounds, they can apply for a provisional AVO, which may vary from an existing final AVO and contain new orders. It can be made on the spot via telephone or email in certain circumstances, such as when a recent violent domestic dispute occurs.

If changes need to be made to the provisional AVO issued by the court, only the police can apply to vary the document. Individuals can apply to vary or revoke a provisional AVO made by the police by serving an application on the local area command (LAC) of the police who applied for the AVO.

Summary

The court issues an apprehended violence order (AVO) to protect an applicant who fears imminent violence toward them from another person. Apprehended violence orders are governed by state legislation, and conditions can vary depending on where the AVO was issued. The order will contain conditions which must be adhered to, or parties risk severe penalties and charges.

Having an AVO is not a criminal offence. Still, it will be recorded on your criminal history record and the police database.

For the defendant, once the AVO expires, the conditions and previous restrictions in the order are no longer valid, and they will have more freedom of movement. Unfortunately, receiving an apprehended violence order will continue to restrict your ability to own a firearm or obtain a licence for ten years. It may also restrict your travel, and ability to obtain new employment in specific sectors, particularly with roles working with children. It may also negatively impact any future family law matters.

An AVO can be adjusted as necessary during the period that it is current. To vary or revoke an apprehended violence order, you complete an application form which can only be obtained from your court’s registry department. When someone applies to vary or revoke an AVO, they must serve a copy of the application to each party involved. The court will only grant permission to amend or change an order if there has been a significant change in circumstances since issuing the AVO.

If a protected person still feels unsafe after an AVO expires, they can apply for an extension of the apprehended violence order with the court.

Before applying to vary or revoke an order, it is crucial that you seek professional advice and legal help from an experienced lawyer.

FAQs

1. What Happens After An Avo Expires?

If a protected person still feels unsafe after an AVO expires, they can apply for an extension of the apprehended violence order with their local court.

For the defendant, once the AVO is expired, the conditions in the order are no longer valid, and they will not have to abide by the previous restrictions. But having an apprehended violence order placed against you will continue to restrict your ability to own a firearm or obtain a licence for ten years, which can heavily impact individuals who have a career in security or the armed forces. 

It may affect your ability to obtain employment in specific sectors, particularly with roles working with children. Also, it may influence your ability to get a rental property and negatively impact  any future family law matters.

2. Can An AVO Be Extended?

An apprehended violence order (AVO) can be adjusted as necessary during the period that it is current. A protected person is entitled to extend the AVO until the last day it is in force. The court will only grant permission to amend or change an order if there has been a significant change in circumstances since issuing the AVO. Several variations can be made, such as extending, reducing, changing, adjusting or revoking.

3. How Do I Extend My AVO NSW?

To vary or revoke an apprehended violence order (AVO), you complete an application form which can only be obtained from the registry department at your local court.

Registry staff are available to offer assistance in completing the form, and once completed, it will need to be filed with the local court. It is not necessary to return to the same court that issued the AVO, and applying to any local court in NSW is acceptable.

After filing the application form, registry staff will advise when the court will consider the application. Attendance at court is essential, or the application may be dismissed.

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