When a person is charged with a domestic violence related offence, they will also be served with an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO). See for example, a case study here. However, in some cases, a person will be served with an ADVO but no criminal charges are laid. An ADVO contains a number of conditions to protect a person in need of protection (PINOP) and any one that the PINOP has a domestic relationship with. An ADVO is not a criminal charge, but it is a criminal offence if any of the conditions are breached. Breaching an AVO carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment, and a $5,500 fine.
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The mandatory ADVO conditions are that you must not:
- assault or threaten the protected person or any other person having a domestic relationship with the protected person
- stalk, harass or intimidate the protected person or any other person having a domestic relationship with the protected person intentionally
- recklessly destroy or damage any property that belongs to or is in the possession of the protected person or any other person having a domestic relationship with the protected person
Additional conditions can be added by police, including that you:
- Must not reside with the protected person
- Must not enter the premises at which the protected person may from time to time reside or work
- Must not go within a certain distance from where the protected person may from time to time work or reside
- Must not approach or contact the protected person by any means whatsoever, except through your legal representative
- Must not approach the protected person or any such premises or place at which the protected person from time to time reside or work within 12 hours of consuming intoxicating liquor or illicit drugs.
If you do not agree with the “grounds” relied upon by police for the ADVO, you are able to contest it in court. However, it is important to note that a Provisional ADVO (enforced by police) will often be made an Interim ADVO order by a magistrate on the first court date, even if the magistrate is aware you do not agree with the ADVO and you wish to contest it. If this occurs, it is imperative you continue to abide by the conditions of the ADVO until the date of the contested hearing otherwise you may face criminal charges.