There are many misconceptions about Apprehended Violence Orders or AVOs and what they mean for the person who is the alleged perpetrator. For instance, an AVO does not form part of your criminal record, because it is not a criminal offence. Breaching an AVO is a criminal offence, and an AVO may occur because of criminal behaviour or together with a court making a guilty finding, but an AVO can also be placed on a person where there is no criminal charge or conduct.
In practice however having an AVO on your record can make life very difficult. Sometimes this can be difficult for practical reasons, for instance if you are going through a family law break down then the circumstances surrounding the AVO will probably make it difficult to see your children.
Certainly an AVO does not stop a person from seeing their children unless the AVO specifically forbids the person from spending time with the child, for instance not allowing them to be within 50 meters of the child. However many people incorrectly believe that an ordinary AVO means that you cannot see the children and this can make negotiation very difficult. If there is an AVO for the protection of your ex, you will need to make alternate arrangements for collecting the children. Even if there is no prohibition on physically attending the other parent’s house it is probably wise to avoid contact for the time being between the parents.
There are other things that a person may not be able to do such as:
- Work in schools, pre-schools, churches, sporting organisations or other places where children are present
- Working in professions that frequently work on site at these organisations, for instance trades like plumbing, carpentry, electrical work and telecommunications
- Travel to certain countries like the USA
- Hold a firearms licence for ten years
- Work as a police officer, locksmith or work in security