An Apprehended Violence Order (‘AVO’) is an order that restrains the behaviour of a defendant by listing certain things that they are prohibited from doing in regards to a Person in Need of Protection (‘PINOP’). This may include prohibiting access to premises where the PINOP lives or works, or prohibiting possession of fire arms, as well as prohibiting behaviour such as assault, stalking or harassment.

Who Can Make an Application for an AVO?

An application for an AVO can be made by:

  • the police on behalf of the PINOP
  • the PINOP themselves, unless they are under 16
  • in some cases, the Children’s Court can make an order on behalf of a child.

There are two categories of AVOs.

Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (‘ADVOs’)

These are used when there is a domestic relationship between the defendant and the PINOP such as the relationship between a current or former spouse or de facto partner, or persons who have been living together (excluding tenants), or other intimate personal relationships.

Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (‘APVOs’)

An APVO is used in circumstances where there is no domestic relationship such as between neighbours.

While having an AVO against you does not result in a criminal record, breaching an AVO is a criminal offence for which penalties can be severe.

This article provides general information about AVOs in Australia and should not serve as a substitute for legal advice.

It is advisable that you seek legal advice if you are planning to apply for, or defend either form of AVO. Our experienced and dedicated lawyers at Eckert Legal can advise you and represent you in Court.