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8 Common Questions on How to Withdraw a Police AVO

can police withdraw an AVO

Can the police withdraw an AVO they have applied for the PINOP? The answer is yes; they can, but it depends upon the circumstances.

It is important to remember that only the applicant has the right to cancel an application for an Apprehended Violence Order. Therefore, if the police can put an AVO on someone, they can also withdraw the AVO.

If the AVO application is police-assisted, the protected person often has little say concerning the outcome for the defendant or whether the AVO will be revoked; when the police file for an AVO, it cannot be revoked just because the PINOP doesn’t want it anymore.

Note that in the Code of practice for the NSW Police Force response to Domestic and Family Violence, when the Police apply for an AVO to protect a victim, they have adopted a policy prohibiting the withdrawal of AVO petitions unless there are compelling reasons to do so.

Typically, the Police will take six weeks to evaluate whether or not to withdraw the AVO.

PINOP’s Role in Withdrawing Police AVO

The Protected Person (PINOP) plays a crucial role in the process of applying for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO). While the police primarily put up an AVO on someone to protect individuals from potential harm, the PINOP’s involvement are essential throughout the legal proceedings.

Can a PINOP withdraw an AVO?

The PINOP can’t vary or revoke the order on their own if the  Police are the ones who decide for the AVO. This means that a Magistrate or the Police are the only ones who can withdraw the AVO.

However, the PINOP can talk to their domestic violence officer and ask them to pressure the Police to get rid of the AVO. They can also hire a private AVO lawyer who can help them write a letter to the court.

Withdrawing an AVO typically refers to the person who initially applied for the order deciding to retract or cancel it. This can happen for various reasons, such as reconciliation between the parties involved or a reassessment of the situation.

Dropping an AVO might imply the court or the authorities dismissing or discontinuing the order, which could happen for reasons such as lack of evidence, a change in circumstances, or the request of the involved parties.

Can withdrawing an AVO statement stop police charges?

A witness statement that has been retracted does not guarantee that the changes will be dropped.

In these kinds of cases, it is quite common for the victim either to recant their statement or to express a desire not to have the offender prosecuted.

A PINOP wishing to withdraw an AVO made by the police or change its conditions must apply to a court and have it heard.

Accordingly, the court will consider the views, fears, and wishes of both the PINOP and the police.

As part of their policy, the NSW Police must proceed with charges when there is sufficient evidence to show a crime has occurred. In addition, they believe it is in the public interest.

Any complaint that is withdrawn will not affect prosecution.

What happens if the victim does not want the accused person charged?

Even if the victim doesn’t want criminal charges to be filed, they still can be filed by the police if there is enough evidence to do so.

The NSWPF, following its guidelines and the law, makes the call on whether or not to pursue prosecution.

How to withdraw police AVO through representations?

Representations are lengthy legal briefs submitted to the Police Department by a solicitor and they can be used in withdrawing police AVO.

They can be used to terminate or alter the terms of an AVO.

Criminal charges, such as simple assault or assault resulting in bodily injury, can also be dropped with their help.

Alternatively, representations can be used to update a fact sheet.

A good AVO lawyer is able to help you with preparing representations to withdraw an AVO.

To get an AVO dropped, consult with a lawyer, gather evidence, communicate with the police and the PINOP, consider negotiation, and be prepared to attend court hearings.

Police’s Role in Withdrawing Police AVO

The police’s involvement in AVO applications is crucial in safeguarding potential victims and maintaining public safety in cases of domestic and personal violence.

Why do the police tend to proceed with the filing of AVO even if the PINOP says otherwise?

A policy by the police was adopted to pursue an AVO even if a victim wants it withdrawn.

This was based on incidents where abusive partners attacked victims shortly after criminal charges or AVOs were withdrawn.

The policy was designed to protect victims who defend abusers, despite having been victims of domestic violence and being in danger.

It has, however, gained the natural side effect of allowing AVOs that should have been withdrawn long ago to linger on the Court lists for months.

This leads to increased time and expense for the parties.

Aside from that, a defendant’s liberty can also be restricted for a longer period if the allegations are trivial or there is no admissible evidence.

According to the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence), Act 2007 – Sect 27, the police must apply for provisional order in certain circumstances, such as:

  • Domestic violence or stalking, or intimidation with intent to cause fear of mental or physical harm has been committed recently.
  • Domestic violence or harassment with intent to cause fear of physical or mental harm is likely to be committed.
  • A child has been a victim of abuse, which is an offence under section 227 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998
  • A child is likely to be abused in the future.
  • In their judgment, an AVO should be immediately issued to protect a person and their property.

When do police consult the Domestic Violence Liaison Officer?

Suppose a victim fails to appear in court to provide testimony.

In that case, police will confer with the Domestic Violence Liaison Officer and any other appropriate victim/client advocates who may be present.

Police may seek an arrest warrant from the court to apprehend a suspect in a domestic abuse case.

This rarely happens.

Some victims of domestic abuse who report an incident to police later say they made up their story.

Police will keep in mind the dynamics of domestic violence and the probability that the alleged victim’s admission of fabrication was motivated by fear, intimidation, or other pressures as they investigate the falsified report.

A superior officer’s approval must be sought before criminal charges are brought against these individual.

Can the police continue to file For AVO even if the PINOP withdraw statement?

Police in New South Wales must act in the public interest and charge individuals suspected of committing crimes. Police charge domestic violence offenders when enough evidence exists.

It is common for police to file charges whenever an alleged victim provides them with the following:

  • DVEC (Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief),
  • a written statement, or
  • even a verbal account of a crime.

“Evidence in Chief” means that victims/witnesses can tell their stories in their own words. It is often based on the victim’s allegation alone and does not require evidence (such as the victim’s admission, photographs, eyewitnesses, etc.). That being said, the absence of these things can still make the police pursue an ADVO.

Challenging Interim AVOs: Process and Considerations

If the Police on the victim’s behalf puts for an ADVO against someone, they may be given an interim or short-term ADVO until the case is resolved.

The interim ADVO will remain in place until the official decision is made.

Can a defendant challenge an Interim AVO?

A defendant facing an interim AVO has the option to go to court and request for the interim ADVO to be lifted. However, challenging an ADVO can be a challenging process and may not always be considered worth the time and expense.

Both parties involved in the case must present evidence to support their case, and the final decision lies with the magistrate or judge regarding whether the ADVO will be granted.

Even in cases where domestic abuse is suspected, it is important to highlight that the NSW Police often take a strong stand against such cases. Strengthening the defendant’s case might involve demonstrating that the other party is not at risk of violence, stalking, or harassment or proving that the other party intentionally misled the Police or court with malicious intent, revenge, or other motives.

Additionally, if neither party was present when the ADVO was issued, for example, if a police officer requested an AVO on behalf of an alleged victim without their consent, it is possible to file an appeal, which may lead to the Order being revoked.

Need Guidance On How to Drop an AVO?

At Justice Family Lawyers, we understand the complexity of AVOs and DVOs, and we are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality legal advice and representation.

Our AVO lawyers and practitioners are highly experienced and knowledgeable, and we are committed to helping our clients receive the best possible outcome.

22 thoughts on “8 Common Questions on How to Withdraw a Police AVO”

    1. Nsw police young have put an avo out on my husband for my two younger kids without my consent or knowledge what can l do about it.

  1. Hi
    I consented to an avo against my husband, to stay 50m away from my house, police have added on without my consent.
    What can I do?

  2. The police have placed an AVO on my partner because of his previous charges. I told them that I didn’t have any fear of him but it’s been served on him & it’s for 2 years. How do I get them to stop it, they told me to let them know if he contacts me and not realising I have made a statement telling them that he has now he’s being breached. I don’t know what to do about it. Please help

  3. The police has placed an avo on my partner and at the time I was scared and afraid if I didn’t comply with the police so I gave the police my statement, as they had witnesses of the situation and now they are placing an avo against my partner which I do not want. We have a court hearing soon and I do not know how to stop the avo going ahead.

    1. It is important to understand that once the police have initiated proceedings for an AVO, they may decide to continue with the case even if you wish to retract your statement.

      To seek to have the AVO withdrawn, we recommend that you consider the following steps:

      Prioritize Safety: First and foremost, ensure your decision isn’t influenced by coercion and prioritise your safety if the DVO is protective in nature.

      Seek Legal Advice: Engage with a solicitor to understand the implications and potential consequences of withdrawing your statement.

      Contact the Police: You can express your desire to retract or modify your statement. However, the police may still proceed based on the existing evidence.

      Attend Court: Ensure you’re present at any scheduled DVO hearing. Absence could result in the court deciding without your input. Though you can voice your preferences, the magistrate holds the final decision.

      Be Aware of Consequences: Understand that retracting a statement can have repercussions, especially if you admit to giving false information.

    1. Hi, if evidence is lacking or unclear, the police may decide against issuing an AVO or to delay the issuance until a more thorough investigation can be conducted. In some cases, they may also consider the wishes of the victim or implement alternative measures to ensure the safety of the victims and children, such as providing information on support services, counseling, or temporary shelter. On the other hand, if there is an immediate threat to the safety of the victim or children, law enforcement may opt for more urgent measures, such as emergency removal or imprisonment of the alleged perpetrator before pursuing a formal AVO.

  4. I went to the police to get some advice and I left the station not knowing the officer had put in place an AVO against my husband without my knowledge. I only found out when I received a phone call from a women’s service wanting to discuss the AVO! He can’t speak to me other than via a lawyer. What can I do?!

    1. You can contact the police station and express your wishes to have the AVO withdrawn. You may also wish to attend the AVO hearing to provide your version of events. However, the decision as to whether or not to withdraw the AVO will ultimately be at the discretion of the police and court based on the evidence presented to them.

  5. My mother in law has passed away recently but she had an order in place interim order as court hadn’t finalised what happens with my interim order now?

    1. Hi Jess, the effect on the interim order can depend on the type of order and its terms. It’s advisable to seek legal advice to understand how the death affects the order and what steps may be necessary to address any unresolved legal matters.

  6. Been served with a dvo and a common assault charge the offense happened 5 months ago my ex has also been served the same paperwork against him i have a mention for the dvo soon and the assault charge in early may when there’s a mention for a dvo to we have to enter a plea or will the judge decide with the evidence they have

    1. When you attend a mention for a Domestic Violence Order (DVO), you are not required to enter a plea. For the common assault charge, you will need to enter a plea during your court appearance, where the case will proceed based on the plea entered. It is strongly recommended that you seek legal advice before attending the hearing.

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