I have been served with an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO)- what are my options?


Being served with an Apprehended Violence Order(AVO) can be a very distressing experience. This is particularly so if you are unaware of your rights and unsure as to what your next step should be.

When served with an AVO your options are:

  • You can oppose the AVO. On the first return date the court is likely to make an “Interim AVO” if the court is of the view that it is both “necessary and appropriate in the circumstances”.

The matter will then be stood over to a “compliance check” date to allow the parties to file statements and evidence to be relied upon. It is critical that any evidence to be relied upon is prepared correctly and filed strictly in accordance with the court’s procedures. Once the statements and evidence have been filed, they cannot be altered.

Following the parties filing of their evidence, a hearing date will be allocated. Upon determination of the matter the Magistrate will make an AVO order if satisfied:

1. The person seeking protection has reasonable grounds to fear a personal violence offence.

2. The person seeking protection:

  1. is under 16 years of age; or
  2. suffers from a mental impairment; or
  3. has in the past been subject to a personal violence offence from you and that there is a reasonable likelihood of it occurring again; and

3. It is appropriate to make the order


  • If you do not wish to oppose the AVO you can agree to same on a “without admissions” basis. That is, you do not agree to any of the allegations made in the AVO but that you have chosen, for your own reasons, not to expend the time or money involved in defending the AVO.
  • Alternatively, an offer can be made to provide “an undertaking” in lieu of an AVO. An undertaking is essentially a promise to the court that you will not engage in certain behaviour. Undertakings are quite an uncommon method of resolving an AVO which should involve a lawyer to negotiate the terms of the undertakings to be provided. There are benefits in the providing of an undertaking as opposed to the making of an AVO. Firstly, undertakings are not enforceable in the same way as an AVO. There is no legal obligation to comply with the undertaking, however, a breach of the undertaking will strengthen any future case for an AVO. Undertakings can also save the party significant legal fees and time.

If you have been served with an AVO you should seek the expert legal advice and representation that Brydens Lawyers can provide. With an expert team of criminal lawyers available to assist with all criminal matters do not hesitate to contact Brydens Lawyers when in need of advice or representation. At Brydens Lawyers #WE DO criminal matters.