AVO - Apprehended Violence Order

What is an AVO? 

Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO's) are orders that a court makes to protect people. The application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO )in NSW is made in two ways:

  • by the police on your behalf (called a 'police application')       
  • by you at your local court (called a 'private application')        


If you have been issued an AVO, you'll need to contact our legal team for initial advice. 

AVO's are designed to protect people by ordering a person known as the 'defendant' not to assault, molest, harass, intimidate or stalk the protected person for a specific period of time.

 AVOs can also have additional orders to further protect that person.

For example, orders can be made which prohibit the defendant from contacting the protected person, going within a certain distance of the protected person’s home or work, and destroying or damaging the protected person’s property. 

What you must know if you have been issued an AVO.

It is important to note AVOs do not give defendants a criminal record.

The defendant is not allowed to keep any firearms,or to hold a firearms licence for 10 years after the AVO ends, unless the AVO is cancelled by the court. If you are a defendant and have a firearms licence, or any firearms, you must immediately surrender them to the police.

An AVO can be registered in another State. If the protected person moves to another Australian State or Territory they can register the AVO with a court in that State or Territory. The AVO will then continue to provide protection for them. The defendant does not have to be told that the order is registered in another State or Territory.

What happens if you breach an AVO?

It is a crime to disobey an AVO. The penalty for disobeying an AVO is two years imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,500. Call the police immediately if an order made to protect you is not being complied with.

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