What’s the Difference Between an AVO and a DVO?

Difference Between an AVO and a DVO?

By cropped movement legal

· Read time: 4 minutes

AVOs and DVOs are both court orders designed to protect people from violence and harassment. A DVO is a type of of AVO specifically designed for people in a domestic relationship (ie spouses / partners)

Legal Definitions of AVO and DVO

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a court order made to protect a person from violence, threats, intimidation, or stalking. It is issued by a magistrate or judge when a person fears for their safety, or that of their children. 

A Domestic Violence Order (DVO) is similar to an AVO but is specifically for people who have or had a domestic relationship with the person they are seeking protection from.

Scope of Protection Offered by AVO and DVO

Both AVOs and DVOs are designed to protect people from harm. They prohibit the person against whom the order is made from doing certain things, such as contacting the protected person, going near their home or workplace, or behaving in a violent or intimidating manner. 

However, the scope of protection offered by AVOs and DVOs can vary depending on the circumstances.

Length of Time for Which AVO and DVO are Valid

AVOs and DVOs are issued for a set period of time, usually between 6 months and 2 years. However, they can be extended if necessary. 

If you need ongoing protection, you may need to apply for a new order when the current one expires.

Penalties for Violating AVO and DVO

Breaching an AVO or DVO is a criminal offence, and the penalties can be severe. Depending on the circumstances, a person who breaches an AVO or DVO can be fined, imprisoned, or both.

AVO (Apprehended Violence Order)DVO (Domestic Violence Order)
Legal DefinitionA civil order that aims to protect a person from violence, harassment, or intimidation.A court order that aims to protect a person from domestic violence.
Scope of ProtectionProtects a person from a specific person who has threatened or caused them harm, including family members or domestic partners.Protects a person from domestic violence committed by a spouse, former spouse, or domestic partner.
Length of TimeAn AVO can last for a period of up to two years or longer.A DVO can last for a period of up to five years or longer, depending on the circumstances.
PenaltiesViolation of an AVO can result in criminal charges, fines, or imprisonment.Violation of a DVO can result in criminal charges, fines, or imprisonment.
It’s important to note that the laws regarding AVOs and DVOs can vary between different states and territories in Australia. It’s crucial to seek legal advice if you are considering obtaining an AVO or DVO, or if you have been served with one.

FAQs

What is a DVO?

A Domestic Violence Order (DVO) is a court order made to protect a person from violence, threats, intimidation, or stalking by someone with whom they have or had a domestic relationship.

What is an AVO?

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a court order made to protect a person from violence, threats, intimidation, or stalking.

Importance of Understanding the Difference Between AVO and DVO

It’s important to understand the difference between AVOs and DVOs because the circumstances under which they are issued can be different. If you’re unsure which type of order you need, it’s best to seek legal advice.

Importance of Seeking Legal Advice

If you’re considering applying for an AVO or DVO, it’s important to seek legal advice. A lawyer can help you understand the process, the types of orders available, and the likely outcome of your case. They can also represent you in court if necessary.

Need assistance?

If you would like help with an AVO, DVO or any aspect of a family law matter, book a time here to speak with one of our team members.

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