Good Behaviour Bonds (NT)
A person who is found guilty of a criminal offence in the Northern Territory may be sentenced to a good behaviour bond (GBB). This is a form of conditional release where the offender agrees to abide by conditions, chiefly not to commit a further offence, for a set period. A GBB is generally imposed for low-level offending or for a person’s first offence. This page deals with good behaviour bonds for adults in the NT.
When a good behaviour bond is imposed on an adult in the NT, it is imposed under the Sentencing Act 1995.
Good behaviour bonds without conviction
A GBB without conviction may be imposed for a period of up to five years. During this time they must be of good behaviour and follow any other conditions the court imposes.
A person on a GBB without conviction may be called on to appear before the court at any time during the period of the bond.
Good behaviour bonds with conviction
A GBB with conviction may be imposed for a period of up to five years. During this time they must be of good behaviour and follow any other conditions the court imposes.
A person on a GBB that is imposed after a conviction is recorded may be called on to appear before the court at any time during the period of the bond.
Conditions of a good behaviour bond
A court may impose any conditions on a GBB as it thinks fit. This may include conditions such as:
- Not to consume alcohol or drugs
- To participate in a rehabilitation program
- To abide by a curfew
- Not to associate with specified persons such as victims or co-offenders
- To be supervised by Correctional Services.
Alternately, a bond may include no conditions other than that to be of good behaviour. Any additional conditions that are imposed by the court will depend on the circumstances of the offending and the circumstances of the offender.
Supervision by Correctional Services
A person who is placed on a supervised good behaviour bond must:
- Follow the reasonable directions of a probation and parole officer
- Report to the officer as directed
- Attend programs as directed
- Advise their probation and parole officer if they change their address
- Follow any other conditions set by the court
If a person breaches the conditions of a good behaviour bond, they may be arrested and brought before the Local Court under section 15 of the Sentencing Act 1995. The Local Court may deal with the breach or commit the matter to the Supreme Court to deal with the breach.
If a court is satisfied that the GBB was breached and that the offender does not have a reasonable excuse, it may:
- Vary the order
- Confirm the order;
- Cancel the order and deal with the offender in any way it could have if it had just found the offender guilty of the offence.
In deciding how to respond to a breach, a court will take into account the extent to which the person has complied with the order.
An application to vary an order can be made because circumstances have materially altered, and the offender is no longer able to comply with the conditions of the order or is no longer willing to comply with the conditions of the order.
When this application is made, a court may vary or cancel the order and deal with the offender in any way it could have if it had just found the offender guilty of the offence.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.