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The Crime of Violating an Arrest Duty to Violence (AVO) in NSW – Criminal Law

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The felony of violating a warrant of detained violence (AVO) in NSW

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Former Deputy Mayor of Auburn, Salim Majer, finds himself in the hot water again, this time accused of violating a warrant of sustained violence (AVO) drafted to protect his ex-partner.

Police filed for AVO last year after Melissa Tysoe complained of assault and threat from “a man who knew her”.

The case is still under investigation while Mr. Mehajer is behind bars for unrelated cases.

Mr. Mehajer’s bail application was denied in early December 202, ahead of his hearing on these matters in February 2021.

Last year, Mr. Mehajer was found guilty of twice disrupting the course of justice and one of making a false sworn statement amounting to perjury, related to a car accident three years ago.

He is now accused of violating the AVO ordered against him by allegedly getting his sister to contact his ex-partner and asking her to “stop” the AVO proceedings.

The AVO against Mr Mehajer explicitly states that under no circumstances may contact be made with Ms Tysoe, unless contact is made through a lawyer.

According to the police, Mr. Mehajer has asked his sister to contact himduring a recorded phone call from Silverwater Correctional Centerand thereby violate the conditions of the AVO.

The crime of violating an AVO

Violating an arrest warrant is a criminal offense covered by 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007, which imposes a maximum sentence of two years in prison and / or a fine of $ 5,500.

In order to establish the offense, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you have not only violated a condition or limitation in a detained warrant of violence (be it a preliminary, provisional or final AVO), but also that you consciously.

In addition, you should not be found guilty of violating an AVO if:

  • You were not validly served at the AVO or were not in court when the AVO was made,
  • You have violated the AVO to attend mediation or comply with a property recovery order,
  • You have violated the AVO to protect yourself, another person (such as your children) or your property (self-defense)
  • You have committed the offense under duress, or
  • You had to violate the AVO to avoid serious injury or danger (necessity).

Section 14 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 also states that:

  • A person convicted of violating an AVO by means of an act of violence should be sentenced to imprisonment unless the court orders otherwise and sets out the reasons for not imposing a prison sentence,
  • A person protected under an AVO cannot be guilty of aiding, abetting, or obtaining a violation of the AVO, and
  • A police officer must record in writing why no criminal proceedings for violation of an AVO will be initiated if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred.

The content of this article is intended as a general guide to the topic. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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