This article will outline the eligibility criteria for a good behaviour bond, how the process works, and provide some examples.
A good behaviour bond is one of the sentencing options available to the courts in New South Wales (NSW). It is a legally binding agreement between the court and the offender, wherein the offender agrees to abide by certain conditions set by the court for a specified period.
Eligibility for Good Behaviour Bond:
- Nature of the Offence: Good behaviour bonds are generally considered for less serious offences. The court will consider the nature and circumstances of the offence before deciding whether a good behaviour bond is appropriate.
- Criminal History: The court will consider the offender’s criminal history. A person with a history of similar offences or breaches of previous bonds may be less likely to be considered eligible for a good behaviour bond.
- Remorse: The court will consider whether the offender has shown genuine remorse for their actions.
- Rehabilitation Prospects: The court will assess the likelihood of the offender reoffending. If the court believes that a good behaviour bond will assist in the offender’s rehabilitation, it may be more likely to impose a bond.
How Does the Process Work?
- Sentencing: During the sentencing process, the court will consider various factors, including the nature and circumstances of the offence, the offender’s criminal history, and their likelihood of reoffending. If the court believes that a good behaviour bond is an appropriate sentencing option, it will impose a bond with specific conditions.
- Conditions of the Bond: The conditions of the bond may vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Common conditions include:
- Supervision: The offender may be required to report to a probation officer regularly.
- Rehabilitation: The offender may be required to attend rehabilitation programs, such as drug and alcohol counselling.
- Non-Association: The offender may be prohibited from associating with certain people, such as co-offenders.
- Residence: The offender may be required to reside at a specified address.
- No Offences: The offender must not commit any further offences during the term of the bond.
- Duration of the Bond: The duration of the bond will be specified by the court and can be up to five years. The offender must comply with the conditions of the bond for the entire duration.
- Breaching the Bond: If the offender breaches any of the conditions of the bond, they may be brought back before the court for re-sentencing.
- Example 1: An individual is convicted of shoplifting for the first time. The court considers the offender’s lack of criminal history, genuine remorse, and the minor nature of the offence and decides to impose a 12-month good behaviour bond with a condition to attend theft prevention counselling.
- Example 2: An individual is convicted of a low-range drink driving offence. The court considers the offender’s previous good character, the fact that no one was injured, and the offender’s commitment to attending alcohol counselling. The court imposes a 24-month good behaviour bond with conditions to attend alcohol counselling and not to consume alcohol.
Eligibility for a good behaviour bond in NSW depends on several factors, including the nature of the offence, the offender’s criminal history, remorse, and rehabilitation prospects. The court will impose specific conditions on the bond, which the offender must comply with for the duration of the bond. Breaching the bond may result in the offender being brought back before the court for re-sentencing. It is always recommended to seek legal advice and support when dealing with criminal matters.