AVO System Designed to Protect Victims

Apprehended Violence and Domestic Violence Orders are an important tool for authorities to protect individuals who are at the risk of violence from another person. KELLI ROBINSON from RMB Lawyers explains how the system works:

An application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) or Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) allows courts to make orders to protect a person from violence, intimidation and stalking by another person.

These orders were created to provide protection from violence in a quick and inexpensive manner.

To apply for an AVO or ADVO, a person who has experienced violence or feels threatened by their partner or another person must attend a police station to report the incident. The police will then make an application to the court on behalf of that person.

The AVO or ADVO notice is then required to be served on the person who is accused of instigating the violence or the threat of violence (now called the defendant). The notice will include a court date that he or she is required to attend as well as the conditions of the AVO or ADVO.

Leading up to the first court date, the prosecution is required to serve a brief on the defendant or their legal representative that includes the alleged facts, a copy of the victim’s statement and any video/photographs that the prosecution may rely on.

When a defendant attends Court on the designated court date, they are required to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

If the defendant pleads guilty, the matter will proceed to a sentence, whereby a magistrate will determine the conditions of the AVO or ADVO as well as the length of time it will be in place.

If the defendant pleads not guilty, the matter will be listed for hearing and the defendant will then be required to serve any evidence that they intend to rely on in the hearing.

At the hearing, the prosecution and defendant will be required to make their argument (also known as submissions) as to why the AVO or ADVO should/shouldn’t be dismissed.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the magistrate will decide whether the AVO or ADVO order is made or the application dismissed.

For further information contact us.

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