A good behaviour bond is essentially a promise to the court that you will be 'of good behaviour' and in the event you do anything, which is in breach of the bond, the court may re-sentence you for the offence you committed. To obtain a good behaviour bond in sentencing the court will need to be convinced that this is the most appropriate sentence and that the convicted person will not breach the bond.
A good behaviour bond is a sentencing option available for a court to impose under s 9(1) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. That section provides:
- Instead of imposing a sentence of imprisonment on an offender, a court may make an order directing the offender to enter into a good behaviour bond for a specified term
If you are convicted of an offence, you may be ordered to enter into a bond under s 9 for a period of up to 5 years.
Whether or not there is a chance of a court imposing a good behaviour bond will depend upon the particular circumstances of the matter, including the seriousness of the offence and the court's view as to the likelihood of the offender re-offending in the event they are not sent to prison.
A bond may have a number of conditions attached to it. A good behaviour bond will require you to appear before the court if required to do so at any time during the period of the bond and 'be of good behaviour'.
A magistrate may add other conditions to a good behaviour bond, which they consider appropriate, such as requiring you to submit to medical treatment, undergo counselling or participate in a particular program.
If you are convicted of an offence, which has a maximum penalty of 6 months imprisonment or more, the court may:
- make a non-association order
- make restriction orders
If you are found guilty and convicted of a criminal offence, you will be liable to a penalty, including possible time in prison and a monetary fine. An expert criminal defence lawyer can argue properly for the most lenient sentence possible to be imposed by the court. If you have been charged with an offence, call George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers to speak with one of our experts who can advise you on the best steps to take in relation to your matter and defend you in court.
The penalty, which may be imposed on you by the court, will generally be contained in the particular Act, which contains the offence you have been found guilty of. The exception is indictable offences where the penalties are contained in the Criminal Procedure Act 1986.
The penalty in the Act will be the maximum penalty open to a magistrate and the court will only impose the maximum penalty if the particular case is considered to be in the worst category for the particular offence. The court is able to reduce the penalty to be imposed by way of s 21 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure Act) 1999.
Generally, where a person is a first time offender and the offence committed is not in the worst category for the particular offence, the magistrate will normally reduce the sentence. For example, if a person is found guilty of committing common assault, it is their first offence and the assault is not in the worst category for the offence, it is unlikely a court will impose a sentence of 2 years imprisonment. Instead, the court may impose an alternative sentencing option, such as a good behaviour bond.
Where a person is liable to imprisonment for being found guilty of an offence, the magistrate may consider alternative sentencing options instead of sending the person to prison. Sentencing options that a court may impose include:
Custodial alternatives to imprisonment:
- intensive correction order
- home detention
- suspended sentence
- community service
- good behaviour bond
- dismissal of charge or conditional discharge
- conviction without any other penalty
- deferral of sentence for rehabilitation and other matters
- intervention orders
- non-association and place restriction orders
- compensation and restitution orders
- diversionary programs
The court may also impose a combination of sentencing options such as a fine combined with a good behaviour bond.
Breach of a Good Behaviour Bond
If you breach a good behaviour bond, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest and revoke the good behaviour bond. If a good behaviour bond is revoked by a court, the court may re-sentence you for the offence to which the good behaviour bond related, or if the good behaviour bond was in relation to s 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, the court may convict and sentence you for the offence which the good behaviour bond related.
If you breach a good behaviour bond relating to a suspended sentence, the order ceases to have effect in relation to the sentence of imprisonment suspended by the order. In other words, you will be sent to prison.
For more information on good behaviour bonds, which a court may impose on a person convicted of an offence, call George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers. We can represent you and argue for the the most lenient sentence in the event you are convicted. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be contacted on (02) 9261 8640 during business hours or 0412 423 569 outside of business hours. We may also be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.