All about Apprehended Violence Orders (AVO)


An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a restraining order enforced by the Crimes (domestic and personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW). The purpose of an AVO is to protect a person from apparent or actual acts of: violence, stalking, intimidation or harassment. The court may on application make an AVO if it satisfied that on the balance of probabilities it is necessary.[1]

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between an ADVO and an APVO?

There are two different types of AVO that can be applied for depending upon the relationship of the accused and the person in need of protection, these are: Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO) and Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVO). ADVO’s are for people who are in or have had a domestic relationship with the defendant.[2] APVO’s are for people where the parties are not in a domestic relationship. APVO’s normally include neighbours, or other family members.[3] The matters to be considered by the court in making an AVO are the same regardless of which type of AVO is sought.[4]

What is the PINOP?

PINOP means a person in need of protection. If a person has a genuine reason to fear another person they should apply for an AVO. If you a PINOP is too scared to apply for an AVO, a police officer can seek an AVO on their behalf.

What will happen at Court?

If there are no related criminal charges, generally you can consent to the order, consent to the order without admitting any conduct in the application or dispute the order. If the application is an APVO (as opposed to a ADVO), generally at the first mention, the matter will be referred to a Community Justice Centre for mediation.

How do I get my property back from the house?

Often, the easiest way is to have a neutral third party attend (with permission of the occupier of the house) to obtain property. Generally this won’t be a breach of a standard AVO. If this is not possible or suitable, then a variation to the AVO can be sought to allow the defendant to obtain property from the house.

What is a provisional order?

A provisional order is generally the order made by a senior Police Officer in response to an urgent application. The police will apply for a Provisional AVO when they believe that someone needs immediate protection.[5] 

What is an interim order?

An interim order is an order made by a Court prior to a final order being made. An Interim AVO can be made by the court in situation when a provisional AVO needs to be extended or a person requires protection.[6] Interim orders are often put in place until the finalisation of the substantive criminal charge and a determination on whether a final AVO needs to be made.

What is a final order?

A final order refers to an ADVO or an APVO.[7] The order will stipulate the conditions that need to be abided.

How long does the AVO last for?

Final orders should have a time limit set by the court when making the order. If the court fails to do so, the order lasts for 12 months.

Can I contest an AVO?

Yes, however the avenues available to contest an AVO will depend upon the circumstances of the situation. It is best to get in contact with a specialist lawyer from our firm to discuss your options to contest an AVO.

What will it cost me?

Our law firm is experienced with representing people in a large number of AVO matters. Engaging in us will give you the best chance at protecting your interest in court. Advice and all related appearances at court for your AVO will cost $1,995.


[1] Crimes (domestic and personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) s19.

[2] Crimes (domestic and personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) s16.

[3] Crimes (domestic and personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) s19.

[4] Crimes (domestic and personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) s20.

[5] Crimes (domestic and personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) s28.

[6] Crimes (domestic and personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) s21.

[7] Crimes (domestic and personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) s3.

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* Information contained in this article is of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as concise legal advice.
Please contact us for legal advice tailored to your situation. *

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