Good Behaviour Orders (ACT)
A good behaviour order, also known as a good-behaviour bond, is a court order that requires a person to exhibit good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court may make specific conditions that the person must comply with during the term of the order. Typically, good behaviour orders are issued for a period of between six months and three years, although they are occasionally made for a period of less than six months. This page deals with good behaviour orders in the ACT.
What is a good behaviour order?
Under Section 13 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005, a good behaviour order requires the offender to sign an agreement committing to fulfill their good behaviour obligations as set out in the Crimes (Sentence Administration) Act 2005 for a set period. These obligations include core conditions and may also include additional requirements, customized to the individual offender. Non-compliance with any of these conditions may result in the revocation of the order and further penalties.
Core conditions of a good behaviour order
The core conditions of a good behaviour order are as follows:
- The offender must not commit any further offences during the term of the order.
- If the offender is charged with an offence, they must inform ACT Corrective Services as soon as possible, but within 2 days of becoming aware of the charge.
- If the offender’s contact details change, they must notify Community Corrections as soon as possible, but within 2 days of the change.
- The offender must comply with any direction given by Community Corrections in relation to the order.
- Any sample given by the offender under a direction relating to alcohol and drug tests for community-service work must not test positive.
- If the order is subject to a probation or supervision condition, the offender must not leave the ACT for more than 24 hours, or another prescribed period, without prior approval from Corrections.
- The offender must comply with any agreement made to attend court.
- The order may also include any additional conditions prescribed by regulation that apply to the individual offender.
Conditions that may be included in a good behaviour order
Under Section 13 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005, a good behaviour order may include one or more of the following conditions:
• That the offender is required to give security for a stated amount, with or without sureties, for compliance with the order (excluding young offenders).
• A community service condition.
• A rehabilitation program condition.
• A probation condition.
• That the offender must comply with a reparation order.
• A condition prescribed by regulation.
• Any other condition that the court considers appropriate.
If the offence is punishable by imprisonment, a good behaviour order may be made instead of imposing a sentence of imprisonment or as part of a combination sentence that includes imprisonment. It may apply to all or part of the term of the sentence.
Will a good behaviour order result in a criminal record?
Not necessarily. A good behaviour order may be imposed with or without a conviction. If an offence is proven, but the court decides not to record a conviction under section 17 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005, a good behaviour order can still be imposed. This is commonly referred to as a conditional discharge. However, regardless of whether or not there is a conviction, there will always be a record of the outcome in your criminal history.
Can I travel overseas while on a good behaviour order?
Whether or not you can travel overseas while on a good behaviour order depends on two factors:
- Any conditions of the order that restrict you from leaving the jurisdiction or that impose obligations that you could not fulfil from overseas.
- The visa requirements of the country you intend to visit.
It is advisable to seek legal advice if you are uncertain.
Breaches of good behaviour orders
A breach of a good behaviour order can occur if a person commits any type of offence or fails to comply with any conditions imposed. Examples include missing appointments with your Community Corrections officer or not attending counselling sessions.
A person may be summoned to court for breaching the order or arrested.
A court dealing with a breach may take no action, amend the bond’s conditions, impose additional conditions, or cancel the bond and re-sentence the person (to a potentially harsher penalty).
What if I refuse to sign my good behaviour order?
Under section 105 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005, if an offender refuses to sign their good behaviour order, the court may re-sentence them or convict and sentence them as if the order had not been made. The offender still has the same rights of appeal as they would have had if they had signed the order.
The court is required to explain the nature and conditions of the good behaviour order, the offender’s obligations, and the consequences if they breach those obligations. Although failure to comply with these provisions does not invalidate the good behaviour order, the court must ensure that written notice of the order, along with a copy of the order, is given to the offender as soon as practicable after the order is made. The notice must include the term of the order and any community-service, probation, or rehabilitation-program conditions.
Additionally, if a surety is involved, the court must take reasonable steps to explain the nature and conditions of the order, the offender’s obligations, and the consequences of breaching those obligations to the person providing the surety in language they can readily understand. This is outlined in section 104 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.