Contravene Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO)

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What is Contravene Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) ?

The offence of breaching an ADVO in New South Wales is set out in section 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW). It is a criminal offence to breach any conditions set out in an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO).

An AVO is an Apprehended Violence Order and an ADVO is short for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order. ADVO only applies to domestic relationships such as husband, wife, children any other relationship to which may be domestic in nature.

An AVO is a protection order that places conditions on a defendant. An AVO is breached if you do something that is in breach of the conditions listed in the order.

The Law

Section 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) relevantly provides that a:

A person who knowingly contravenes a prohibition or restriction specified in an apprehended domestic violence order made against the person is guilty of the offence.

What must the prosecution prove?

Since Contravening an ADVO is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution.

The prosecution must prove the Accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. That is a high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of Contravene ADVO or AVO.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • That you were prohibited to act in a certain way under an Apprehended Violence Order;
  • That you contravened that prohibition; and
  • Did so knowing the prohibition was in place.

If you are charged with the offence of contravene apprehended violence order what are your options?

National Criminal Lawyers (NCL) have been successful in defending a number of contravene ADVO and AVO charges where the prosecution could not establish each of the elements to the required threshold of beyond reasonable doubt.

It is for that reason that National Criminal Lawyers are the preferred specialist criminal solicitors in Sydney.

Our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers, headed by Michael Moussa, one of Sydney’s Best Criminal Lawyers will ensure that your case is closely examined to achieve the best of results.

We have also achieved a number of non-convictions for contravene ADVO charges for those who are found guilty or plead guilty to contravene ADVO or AVO.

NCL offer the following options for those who have been charged with affray:

  1. We will negotiate with prosecutors (police or DPP) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) to request that the charge is withdrawn, downgraded or fact sheets amended;
  2. NCL will Plead Not Guilty and go to hearing/trial and persuade the Court that the prosecution has not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt;
  3. Plead guilty to the elements of the charge and then dispute the facts (at a special “disputed facts” hearing) with the view of having you sentenced less harshly; and/or
  4. Plead guilty with full acceptance of the facts as set out by the police and make strong submissions on your behalf requesting that the Court not record a criminal conviction.

Pleading Guilty

If you agree that you have committed the offence and the police are able to prove all the element of the offence, it is best to plead guilty at an early opportunity to receive the maximum discount. Currently the maximum discount available for an early plea of guilty is 25% of the sentence.

Furthermore, the early guilty plea shows the Court that you have remorse and contrition for your actions.

Our Lawyers at National Criminal Lawyers work closely with you to ensure that we obtain all necessary paper work at increasing the chances of obtaining a non-conviction or section 10.

Our Non Conviction lawyers Sydney will help you ensure that your best case is put forward to the Courts in NSW to increase your chances of not receiving a criminal offence.

Maximum Penalties

Contravene ADVO can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 2 years or a fine of up to $5500 or both.

Please note that the penalties mentioned are reserved for the worse case offending and are unlikely to be the penalty you receive.

Contact our Assault Sydney Lawyers now.

Pleading Not Guilty

If you decide to plead not guilty you will need to prepare to go to a Defended Hearing. A defended hearing is where all the witnesses of that case are called to give evidence. The witnesses are both examined by the prosecution and tested by your defence lawyers.
National Criminal Lawyers have defended thousands of people charged with contravene apprehended violence orders and are experts at these hearings.

Contact the Top Lawyers now and check the difference for yourself.


Sometimes the elements of Contravene ADVO can be established however there also may exist a defence at law.

It is a defence to the charge under section 14(3) of the Act if the contravention of the ADVO occurred in circumstances in which:

  • It was necessary to attend mediation;
  • It complied with the terms of a property recovery order made by a Magistrate; and/or
  • It is also is a defence to the section if you are able to show that you were not served a copy of the AVO, and where the AVO was made in Court that you were not present in Court.
  • For more defences that may be relevant to your case, please visit our dedicated page on defences

Possible Penalty's

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a contravene AVO charge.

  • Prison sentence;
  • Home Detention;
  • Intensive correction order (previously periodic detention);
  • Suspended sentence;
  • Community service order (CSO);
  • Good behaviour bond;
  • Fine; and/or
  • Section 10

However, from the 24 September 2018 new penalty’s will be replacing the above. They are as follows:

  • Full time Imprisonment;
  • New ICO (ICO) with a home detention condition available;
  • New Community Correction Order (CCO);
  • Fine; and/or
  • New Conditional release Order (CRO)

For more information about penalties, please visit our dedicated page on penalties.

Case Studies

Our client was charged with numerous domestic violence related offences including choke a person, Contravene AVO and Assault following a serious altercation with his ex-partner in his own house. The ex-partner and our client were still residing together despite both knowing this was not allowed as the client was the subject of non-approach and non-residence order in the AVO with respect to the protected person.

After an argument wherein the client asked his ex-partner to move out his ex-partner in retaliation took the clients best clothes and hid them in a place where he could not find them (later discovered to be up inside the roof cavity).

The prolonged argument then continued wherein during the argument the complainant faked an asthma attack. When the client tried to resuscitate and get her inhaler the protected person then said she would make allegations that she was choked.

However instead of going to the police station or calling police the protected person went to see a friend she and then several days contacted the police and reported to having been choked and Assaulted again after losing consciousness. Technically our client was guilty to Contravene AVO and to the elements of the Assault charge (as he accepted he dragged her to the bathroom after the Asthma attack) but with dispute on the facts.

The client adamantly disputed the facts on the Assault charge and plead not guilty to all the Choke related offences. Our Principal Lawyer, Mr Michael Moussa then devised a unique and specifically tailored plan to represent the client. Invariably Mr Moussa advised the client who confirmed this advice by way of instructions to seek out the truth in a way the Magistrate can see what really occurred.

The plan was then put into action as follows;

Firstly, the client plead guilty to the contravene AVO. This was clearly a case where there was a breach. However, with regard to the Assault allegation Mr Moussa advised that the client should plead guilty to the bare elements of the allegation and then run what is known as a disputed facts hearing.

Secondly, given the client absolutely disputed the Choking charge Mr Moussa advised that this charge go to a Defended Hearing (an outright denial of the allegations).

Both the disputed fact hearing and the defended hearing all can run together.

On the day of the hearing, Mr Moussa was able to show the Court more than what usually would be allowed to be shown. For example, in a disputed facts hearing evidence of the background of a toxic relationship, together with history of provocation and mistaken facts were shown to occur.

Usually in a simple defended hearing these issues would be ruled irrelevant, however Mr Moussa was able to argue they were relevant to the disputed facts part of the hearing.

On the back of these admission and evidence it was exposed that the complainant had a hidden agenda and this allowed the Court to see that the Assault only occurred as there a sudden incident or emergency which could contextualise how it was carried out (Namely the accused  grabbing the protected person and dragging her to the bathroom to get her puffer albeit against her will). Lastly during proper cross examination of the Medical expert who examined the complainant four days after the assault it was made clear to the court that no injuries were caused nor any marks around the neck seen (there were however other injuries including  a bleeding ear). Given the combined strategy which was designed to find the truth of what happened a massive injustice wherein certain “mistruths” and “relevant facts” were missing from the Police case did not occur. In the end the Court found our client a truthful person and he received a s10(1)(b) sentence both for the Contravene AVO and the Assault.

Why National Criminal Lawyers?

There are three reasons to choose National Criminal Lawyers:

1. We get the results

We are the experts in either beating or having criminal charges withdrawn AND/OR obtaining the least restrictive penalty available. This is because no matter which option you choose within our tailored Options at Law you will be dealing with experienced criminal lawyers who can make sure the evidence is not only obtained properly but also that your case is prepared and presented to the highest best practice standards possible. This is also done without breaking your pocket.

2. We give a Senior Defence Lawyer guarantee

No matter which option at law you choose, National Criminal Lawyers can guarantee that a Senior Defence Lawyer will represent you. This means that with our over 25 years of Combined criminal law experience you will get the best result possible.

3. National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights

At National Criminal Lawyers we know that Criminal Law is a matter of Human Rights. For this reason, we take pride and passion in representing our clients. This pride and passion to assist those charged with an alleged or actual breach of the criminal law is to us a matter of righteous necessity and in that sense, you can always rest assured that National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights. This true not only when the police have just simply got it wrong OR if they have got it right then we can speak with you and make sure you get you the best result available.

If you have been charged with any offence relating to contravening an ADVO or AVO, our Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers or our Assault Lawyers Sydney are well versed and specialists in having charges either withdrawn and otherwise achieving favourable outcomes.

Please contact our office on 02 9893 1889 or visit www.nationalcriminallawyers.com.au for more information about your options.

Book your first free appointment with National Criminal lawyers now.
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