Local Court > Types of cases

Apprehended violence orders (AVOs)

AVOs are orders that a court makes to protect people. AVOs protect people by ordering a person known as the 'defendant' not to assault, molest, harass, intimidate or stalk the protected person for a specific period of time.

AVOs can also have additional orders. For example, orders can be made which prohibit the defendant from contacting the protected person, going within a certain distance of the protected person's home or work, and destroying or damaging the protected person's property. Read more about AVOs on LawAssist's AVO pages.

AVOs do not give defendants a criminal record.

The defendant is not allowed to keep any firearms, or to hold a firearms licence for 10 years after the AVO ends, unless the AVO is cancelled by the court. If you are a defendant and have a firearms licence, or any firearms, you must immediately surrender them to the police.

An AVO can be registered in another state. If the protected person moves to another Australian state or territory they can register the AVO with a court in that state or territory. The AVO will then continue to provide protection for them. The defendant does not have to be told that the order is registered in another state or territory.

Find more information on this website about AVO hearings in court

Applying for an AVO?

Visit LawAssist for more information about AVOs and applying for an AVO.

What happens if you disobey an AVO?

It is a crime to disobey an AVO. The penalty for disobeying an AVO is two years imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,500. Call the police immediately if an order made to protect you is not being complied with.

Need more information?

LawAssist can help you if you have a legal problem in New South Wales and are representing yourself. LawAssist explains legal procedures and forms for court and tribunal cases. LawAssist provides:

  • step by step guides to applying for an AVO and running your case
  • instructions for filling out court forms
  • checklists and frequently asked questions
  • information on alternatives to court
  • contacts for further information and advice

Need help?

Call LawAccess NSW 1300 888 529
LawAccess NSW is a free government telephone service that provides legal information, referrals and in some cases, advice for people that have a legal problem in New South Wales.






Court support for victims of domestic violence

If you are a victim of domestic violence and need support in court, contact the Women's Domestic Violence Court Assistance Schemes.

Legal advice for women affected by domestic violence  

Contact the Domestic Violence Legal Service.


​ ​The information on this site is a guide only and is not legal advice - see disclaimer.