Good Behaviour Bonds
In many states and territories of Australia, a person who is found guilty of a criminal offence can be sentenced to a good behaviour bond. A good behaviour bond involves the conditional release of the offender and is usually imposed for low-level offending or for first-time offenders. This page deals with the good behaviour bonds and other equivalent orders that can be imposed on adult offenders in different jurisdictions of Australia.
Good behaviour bonds in Queensland
A bond can be imposed for any offence under section 19 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 if the court considers that the matter warrants no penalty or only a nominal penalty. Under an order under this provision, the offender may be:
- Released absolutely;
- Released on condition that they be of good behaviour and come back before the court for sentencing if called on to do so during the period of the order (up to three years)
The court may also conditionally release a person under section 24 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (for a property-related offence) or under section 30 (for an indictable offence) or section 31 (for a summary offence).
Conditional release orders in New South Wales
When deciding whether to make this order a court will have regard to:
- The person’s age, character, antecedents, health and mental condition;
- Whether the offence was trivial;
- Any extenuating circumstances;
- Any other matter the court thinks proper.
A New South Wales court may also discharge a person without conviction on a conditional release order under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
Adjourned undertakings in Victoria
In Victoria, a court may release a person who has been convicted of an offence on an adjourned undertaking under section 72 of the Sentencing Act 1991. Under this provision, the matter may be adjourned for up to five years on condition that the person be of good behaviour and attend court if called on to do so within the period of the order. The court may also set other conditions.
Good behaviour orders in the ACT
A person sentenced to this order will be required to sign an undertaking to comply with the conditions of the order. These may include:
- giving security for a stated amount;
- a community service condition;
- a rehabilitation program condition;
- a probation condition
A good behaviour order may be imposed as part of a combination sentence that also includes other penalties.
Conditional release orders in Western Australia
- there are reasonable grounds to think that the person will not reoffend;
- the person does not need supervising by a Community Corrections Order during the term of the order.
A CRO may be imposed for up to 24 months. The court may impose any requirements that are necessary to secure the offender’s good behaviour during this time.
If a person reoffends while on a CRO, they may be resentenced for the original offending.
Good behaviour bonds in South Australia
In South Australia, a person can be released on a good behaviour bond under section 97 of the Sentencing Act 2017 with or without a conviction. The court may also impose a condition that the person must come back before the court for sentence if they fail to comply with the conditions of the bond.
The conditions that may be attached to a good behaviour bond in South Australia are set out in section 98 of the Sentencing Act 1998.
Undertakings in Tasmania
Good behaviour bonds in the Northern Territory
In the Northern Territory, a person can be released on a bond for a period of up to five years either with or without the recording of a conviction. A bond without conviction is imposed under section 11 of the Sentencing Act 1995. A bond with conviction is imposed under section 13 of the Sentencing Act 1995.
A person released on a bond in the NT must be of good behaviour and observe any other conditions set by the court. They must appear before the court if called on to do so during the term of the order.
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