Breach Of Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) Charges In NSW

Understanding Breach Of Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) Charges In NSW: Police Response, Court Proceedings, And Defences

In New South Wales (NSW), an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a court order to protect victims from domestic violence, harassment, or intimidation. A breach of AVO occurs when the respondent fails to comply with the conditions outlined in the order. This breach is a serious offence that can lead to legal consequences for the accused. This article explores what happens when a person is charged with a breach of AVO in NSW, how the police and the court handle the matter, and the defences available to the accused.

Police Response

When the police receive a report or complaint regarding an alleged breach of AVO, they are duty-bound to investigate the matter promptly. If the police find reasonable grounds to believe that the AVO has been breached, they can arrest the accused without a warrant, if necessary, to protect the safety of the protected person.

Once arrested, the accused will be taken into police custody and informed of their rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to legal representation. The police will conduct interviews and gather evidence from the complainant, witnesses, and any available records.

Court Proceedings

After the police investigation, the accused must appear before the court to face the breach of AVO charges. At the court hearing, the prosecution will present the evidence against the accused, including witness statements, documents, and any relevant records.

The court will assess the evidence to determine if the accused has indeed breached the AVO. If found guilty, the court will impose penalties, including fines, community service, probation, or even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the breach and the accused’s criminal history.

Defences for Breach of AVO Charges

The accused may have certain defences available to challenge the breach of AVO charges. Some common defences include:

a) Lack of Intent: The accused may argue that they did not intentionally breach the AVO and that the violation was unintentional or due to a misunderstanding.

b) Lawful Reason: The accused may claim that their actions were necessary or lawful, such as contacting the protected person for childcare arrangements or property matters.

c) Consent: If the protected person willingly initiated the contact or agreed to the accused’s actions, the accused may argue that there was consent to the alleged breach.

d) Mistake of Fact: The accused may contend that they were unaware of the AVO’s conditions or believed they were allowed to act in a certain way based on inaccurate information.


A breach of an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a serious offence in NSW, aiming to protect individuals from domestic violence and harassment. The police respond swiftly to AVO breaches, conducting thorough investigations to gather evidence. Court proceedings are then initiated, where the accused can present defences to contest the charges.