Contravene Or Breach Of AVO – s 14 Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW)
Breaching an AVO condition is taken seriously by the Courts. It can result in a criminal conviction and imprisonment which can have devastating effects on you, your family and your career.
Our specialist defence AVO lawyers have over 20 years of experience in Sydney and all around Australia, with a proven track record of exceptional results with AVO matters. Speak to one of their senior lawyers now for realistic advice on strengthening your case early.
Your Options in Court
PLEADING NOT GUILTY
You can only be found guilty to a charge of contravening an AVO if the police are able to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, each of the following elements of this offence:
- One or more of the AVO conditions were breached
- You knew that you were breaching those condition at the time
If any one of the above elements are not proven by police, your charge will be dismissed.
Defences to this charge
You will be found not guilty, and the charge of contravene AVO will be dismissed if any one of the following defences apply to your case:
- Self defence: Where you behaved in this way because you believed it was necessary to protect yourself, another person or your property, and your actions in the circumstances were reasonable in the circumstances perceived by you at the time.
- You accidentally breached the AVO conditions, without knowing. For example, being in the same shopping centre, coincidentally walking past each other where you were not aware the other person worked in the area is not considered a breach of an AVO condition prohibiting you from going within 200 meters of where he or she works.
- You were never served with a copy of the AVO order, or you were not present in court when the order was made. As a result you were unaware of the conditions.
- The breach resulted from a necessity for you to attend mediation to resolve the AVO issues.
- The breach resulted from you simply complying with the court’s property recovery order.
- Duress or necessity
Speak to one of our specialist defence AVO lawyers for guidance on strengthening your defence at an early stage to maximise your chances at proving your innocence in court.
If pleading guilty to contravening AVO, it’s critical to get experienced advice and guidance on preparing to maximise your chances at getting the best possible outcome in court. The following are hints and tips on the best ways to prepare your case.
25% discount on punishment
Pleading guilty to contravening AVO at an early stage of your case will entitled you to a discount of up to 25% off the punishment, allowing the Magistrate to give you a more lenient punishment. The early plea of guilty also allows a further leniency to you as it is seen as an expression of your remorse and contrition.
It’s critical to get as early as possible advice in your case by an experienced AVO lawyer so that you do not miss out on getting this discount. The later the plea of guilty is entered, the less discount you are entitled to.
Good character references
Well drafted good character references can allow the Judge to give more leniency in the punishment if it expresses your excellent character, your remorse and contrition, your insight into your actions.
Character references expressing all this can have a powerful effect if it comes from people you know. For example, an apology letter from you, your family, friend, work colleague or employer, even charity. Our team of senior lawyers have seen and reviewed thousands of reference letters, they will guide you through the entire process.
Negotiate to drop charges
The charge of contravening AVO always has potential to be dropped by police at an early stage of your case. This has been successfully achieved by our senior lawyers on countless occasions by thoroughly analysing the police evidence, picking out each and every hole in their evidence before tactfully approaching police with reasons why it should be dropped.
Our team have perfected the art of negotiating and analysing evidence for this sole purpose for over 20 years. Speak to a senior lawyer now for realistic advice on how to strengthen your chances at achieving this early in your case.
Much like negotiating to drop charges, you can also negotiate the facts of your conduct which you plead guilty to. These facts are often ones sided, drafted by police, to hand to the Magistrate who will read it right before giving your punishment. It often paints you in the worst possible light with untrue or partly false information resulting in a severer punishment.
You can put a stop to this. Our team of senior lawyers have and continue to negotiate these facts to reflect what really happened, and how it happened painting you in a much better light, resulting in a much better outcome. The best way to achieve this is by knowing the police evidence very well, and then showing police all the inconsistencies in it.
An excellent drafted court report from an expert psychologist or psychiatrist can significantly improve the court outcome with a much more lenient punishment by the Magistrate. This can avoid prison and even a criminal conviction in some cases.
To maximise your chances at achieving this outcome, the report should express your mental state at the time, your remorse, contrition and insight in your behaviour, allowing the Magistrate to give a lighter punishment. Our team of lawyers refer their clients to a hand selected few of the best known leading psychologists and psychiatrists in Australia for producing powerful reports to the Courts.
The maximum punishment for contravening an AVO is a term of imprisonment of up to 2 years and/or a fine of up to $5,500. The courts rarely give maximum punishments which are usually reserved for the most serious cases. There are other options of punishment available for the court to give you which are explained below.
The law says the courts should normally give a punishment of imprisonment where the AVO conditions are breached by committing a violent act against the “person in need of protection”. For this reason it’s important to give yourself the best chances at avoiding prison by preparing early with experienced guidance.
Types of punishment
If you plead guilty, or found guilty by the court, the Magistrate in the Local Court can give you any one of the following different types of punishment for contravening an AVO:
- Section 10 non conviction.
- Section 9 good behaviour bond
- Community Service Order
- Section 12 suspended sentence
- Intensive Corrections Order
- Home Detention
- Full Time Imprisonment
It is critical to speak to an experienced AVO lawyer to give you realistic advice, and practical steps to strengthen your defence at an early stage, or to avoid a criminal conviction in the event you plead guilty.