Criminal Law

Breach AVO charge - No conviction recorded

Charge: Contravene condition in Apprehend Violence Order (Breach AVO Charge); pursuant to section 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007. 

Penalties: The maximum penalty for contravene/breach AVO is a fine for $5,500 and/or a term of imprisonment for 2 years.

Case Summary: An Apprehended Violence Order was in place a a result of a domestic dispute between our client and his previous partner. The domestic dispute was the cause of the breakdown of the relationship between the parties and they separated as a result.

Our client was charged with breaching the Apprehended Violence Order (pursuant to section 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act by constantly harassing his ex partner (the protected person), and eventually threatening her with violence.

Upon our advice, the client pleaded "guilty" to the charge and allegations and the matter was listed for sentence before a Local Court Magistrate.

In our submissions to the Court, heavy reliance was placed on the client's good character; the fact that the threat could be categorised as an "empty" threat; the client's emotional and psychological state at the time; and the fact that the client would lose his employment upon being convicted and we urged the Court to not enter a conviction against him.

Result: Generally, where an AVO is breached by way of a threat of violence, it is appropriate for the offender to receive a criminal conviction and some form of punishment. However, after lengthy submissions and engaging in argument with the Magistrate for more than half an hour, we were able to persuade the Magistrate to deal with the matter pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act and therefore the client did not receive a criminal conviction and avoided punishment for the commission of the offence. 

It was strongly our view that had Prime Lawyers not carried out investigations to enable us to approach the police to have the seriousness of the allegations reduced, our client would have been convicted for the offence.

The client was thankful that he was able to escape a criminal conviction and continue his employment.

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