CCAn Apprehended Violence Order (“AVO”) is an order of the court that restricts the behaviour of the person against whom the order is made.

A court has the power to make an AVO against someone, if the applicant or protected person has reasonable grounds to fear and in fact fears violence, intimidation or stalking.

All AVOs have a condition that the person against whom the order is made (“the defendant”) must not assault, molest, harass, threaten, stalk, intimidate or otherwise interfere with the protected person.  In addition, the applicant can apply to the court for additional orders, such as those that restrict the defendant from approaching or going within a certain distance of the protected person.

An AVO is not of itself a criminal charge which means that if you have an AVO placed against you, it will not be recorded on your criminal convictions history.

However, if an AVO is placed against you and you then break the orders made by the AVO, you will be charged with a criminal offence and if convicted, that offence will appear on your criminal record.  For this reason it is important that you have a clear understanding of your obligations under an AVO.

If you are the subject of an AVO application, you can either dispute that your behaviour warrants the making of an AVO, or you can agree to the AVO being put in place.

Becoming the subject of an AVO can have serious consequences when it comes to your employability.  Many industries, are unable or unwilling to employ people that are named as a defendant on an AVO.  Having an AVO placed against your name can also prevent you from holding a firearms licence as well as many other security licences and the like.

For this reason it is extremely important that you consult with a solicitor if someone takes out an AVO against you.  Similarly, if you fear violence and hold concerns for your personal safety because of the actions of another, a solicitor can advise you on the options and best approach to apply for an AVO.

Should you have any further questions about AVOs please do not hesitate to contact one of our solicitors, because at Everingham Solomons, Helping You is Our Business.

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