Arrested Violence Orders (AVOs) are legal tools that protect individuals in Victoria from violence, harassment or intimidation. In cases of domestic violence, stalking or any form of abuse, AVOs play an important role in ensuring the safety of the victims.
Like many legal processes, AVOs have an expiry date, and it is essential to understand the implications of their expiry for the continued safety and well-being of those involved.
Understanding Suspicious Violence Orders
AVOs are legal orders designed to restrict the defendant’s conduct towards the protected person – the person for whom the order is made. These orders act as a means of protecting victims by setting clear limits on the defendant’s behavior.
The court evaluates the evidence before rendering a verdict. An AVO may then be imposed, and will include conditions such as no contact, specified proximity, or surrender of firearms.
In cases where the immediate danger is clear, the police can apply for an AVO on behalf of the affected person or the affected person can apply for an AVO directly. It is important to note that AVOs are initially made for a limited period of time, usually six months to a year.
AVO expiry in Victoria
When a suspected violence order is made, the court specifies the period for which it will be effective. Once that period expires, the AVO expires. It is then the responsibility of the protected person to be aware of the expiration date and take appropriate action to ensure their continued protection.
In some cases, AVOs may have provisions for automatic renewal. This means that the order will remain in effect after its initial expiry date unless the court orders otherwise. Inclusion of automatic renewal provisions is at the discretion of the court and is often based on the severity of the threat and the specific circumstances of the case. The protected person will need to ensure whether their AVO includes an automatic renewal provision.
applying for extension
When an AVO does not have automatic renewal, the protected person can apply for an extension before the expiry date of the order. This involves returning to court and providing valid reasons for increasing the AVO. The court will carefully assess the situation, considering any new evidence, the defendant’s behavior since the order was issued and the continued risk to the protected person. Based on this assessment, the court will decide whether to grant an extension or not. The court’s primary concern is the safety and security of the person seeking the extension.
Looking for a new AVO
If the protected person fears for their safety after the expiry of the AVO and does not want an extension, they can apply for a new AVO. The new AVO will be a separate legal order from the previous one and may have different terms depending on the circumstances. When applying for a new AVO, the person must provide updated evidence and relevant information supporting their claim for protection.
Importance of achieving continuous security
Termination of an AVO may leave the protected person vulnerable to potential harm and threats. Therefore, individuals need to take the expiration date seriously and consider their safety beyond that point.
Domestic violence situations and abusive behavior may persist or increase even after the order is lifted. It is necessary to seek continued protection through extensions or new AVOs to maintain protection.
Furthermore, if the protected person faces further threats or violence from the defendant, having an active AVO in place may have significant significance in future legal proceedings. A proactive AVO can strengthen the case and provide legal protection in case of any violations, helping law enforcement and the justice system to take appropriate action immediately.
Violation and consequences
Even after an AVO expires or ceases to be in force, the defendant is legally bound to comply with its terms until the expiry date. Any breach of an AVO before its expiry is considered a serious offense under the law. The breach signals a continuing threat and highlights the need for additional security measures.
If a breach occurs, the protected person must immediately report it to the police. The police will investigate the violation, and if the defendant is found guilty, they may face serious penalties, including fines and imprisonment. The legal system treats AVO breaches as serious offenses because they cause potential harm and danger to the protected person.
Dealing with expired intervention orders in Victoria?
If you or someone you know needs help navigating intervention order and need legal assistance, please contact Starry Norton Halfen today. Our experienced team of lawyers specializes in handling cases involving domestic violence, harassment and bullying. We are dedicated to protecting your rights and ensuring your safety.
Contact us now to schedule a consultation and discuss your situation in confidence. We can explore the best options to ensure your continued safety and well-being. Don’t face this challenging situation alone – let Starry Norton Halfen guide you through the legal process and provide you with the support you need.