Consequences of an Apprehended Violence Order

This question arises repeatedly, and we provide the following ready reckoner as a useful guide:

For the Defendant

Criminal History and Criminal Record

  • Final AVO’s are recorded on an individual’s criminal history, but not their criminal record. This history can be seen by the court during sentencing, or bail applications.
  • If charged and convicted with breach of AVO, this offence appears on an individual’s criminal record.

Working with Children

  • A Final AVO may be considered by an employer if applying for a job involving children, and they may be considered ineligible for child-related employment or volunteer work.

Security Licence

  • Security licences may be cancelled if an AVO is made and the Commissioner for Police believes that the defendant is not a fit and proper person to hold the licence.
  • Defendants may be unable to use some security licences (e.g. 1F or P1F) due to being unable to hold a firearms licence.


  • Firearms licences are automatically suspended when an interim or final AVO is made against a defendant, and a defendant must surrender their firearms and license to the police- or else they will be seized.
  • If they fail to surrender their firearms and an AVO has a prohibition against possessing firearms, they may also be charged with breaching their AVO.
  • Firearms will either be returned after an interim AVO, or destroyed in the case of final AVO.

For the Other Party


  • If an individual is co-tenants or co-owners (both on title) with a defendant and wants to stay:
    • An exclusion order may prohibit the defendant from visiting or residing at the rental property. They are entitled to change the locks, and if it is a final AVO, the defendants name is automatically removed from the lease.
    • If owners, the Family Court may order sole use and occupation of the home.
    • They may apply for a Property Recovery Order to collect their belongings.
  • If an individual is co-tenants with a defendant and wants to leave:
    • They can serve a Domestic Violence Termination Notice on their landlord and co-tenants with supporting evidence.

Property Damage

  • An individual is not liable for damage caused by a defendant in a domestic violence offence.


  • An individual is entitled to five unpaid family and domestic violence leave days per year, even as a part time or casual employee.

Apprehended Violence Orders and Family Law Matters

AVO’s and Parenting Orders

  • Parenting Orders in most cases will override AVO’s in the case of contradictions, as in most cases well drafted Orders will take the AVO into consideration.
  • If an incident occurs after parenting orders are already in place, the Court may make additional interim or final Orders when making an AVO, so as to take parenting orders into account.
  • In final AVO’s, they may revive, vary, discharge, or suspend existing orders based on new information. They cannot change parenting orders in the case of interim AVO’s.
  • If no change is made, parties can apply for variations to the parenting Orders.

AVO’s and Parenting Plans

  • A Parenting Plan does not override an AVO. Not following the AVO will constitute a breach, and may result in a criminal charge. 
  • An AVO may include an order about family law and a parenting agreement in writing.
  • Parties may apply to have a parenting plan made into parenting orders. If the Court makes parenting orders, the parenting orders will override the AVO where they overlap.