This article will outline the eligibility criteria for an adjourned undertaking in Victoria, the process of obtaining one, and provide some examples.
In Victoria, a good behaviour bond is formally known as an adjourned undertaking. It is an 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: Adjourned undertakings are generally considered for less serious offences. The court will consider the nature and circumstances of the offence before deciding whether an adjourned undertaking 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 or undertakings may be less likely to be considered eligible for an adjourned undertaking.
- 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 an adjourned undertaking will assist in the offender’s rehabilitation, it may be more likely to impose one.
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 an adjourned undertaking is an appropriate sentencing option, it will impose one with specific conditions.
- Conditions of the Undertaking: The conditions of the undertaking may vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Common conditions include:
- Good Behaviour: The offender must be of good behaviour for the duration of the undertaking.
- Compensation: The offender may be required to pay compensation to the victim.
- Rehabilitation: The offender may be required to attend rehabilitation programs, such as drug and alcohol counselling.
- Community Service: The offender may be required to complete a specified number of hours of unpaid community work.
- Duration of the Undertaking: The duration of the undertaking will be specified by the court. The offender must comply with the conditions of the undertaking for the entire duration.
- 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 adjourned undertaking 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 adjourned undertaking with conditions to attend alcohol counselling and not to consume alcohol.
Eligibility for an adjourned undertaking in Victoria 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 undertaking, which the offender must comply with for the duration of the undertaking. It is always recommended to seek legal advice and support when dealing with criminal matters.