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  • Good Behaviour Bonds in New South Wales (NSW)

    When the court finds you guilty of an offence, it imposes the maximum punishments stipulated by the legislation or laws under the jurisdiction. These penalties can range anywhere from simple fines and penalty points to severe imprisonment terms.

    In most cases, the law makes it impossible to commute the orders of these offences. However, less serious offences may allow the court to grant the offender some conditions like a Good Behaviour Bond (GBB).

    Good Behavior Bonds in New South Wales (NSW)

    A Good behaviour bond is a "promise agreement" between a court and an offender that the offending party will be of the best civil behaviour in the duration of that agreement. It also contains other conditions that the offender must see out, including a regular appearance at the court, or meeting with the parole officers.

    The court has the power to revoke the conditions of a Good behaviour bond if it finds the offender guilty of a breach.

    The Crimes (Sentencing Procedures) Act of 1999 governs all issuance or appeal for a good behaviour bond. The Court does not just grant anyone with a Good Behaviour bond, it makes some inquiries into things like;

    • The Age, Mental stability, Health of the offender
    • Whether they are repeat or first-time offenders
    • Degree of the seriousness of the offence, including the presence of aggravating circumstances
    • The presence of an extenuating circumstance around the offence
    • Whether they are potential threats to the community

    How long does a Good Behaviour Bond last?

    The duration of a good behaviour bond usually depends on which conditions you were granted the Good Behaviour Bonds. There are two conditions for a Good Behaviour Bond which can be;

    1. Under a Section 9 GBB Scheme
    2. This section of the Good Behaviour Bond scheme is given where a person is found guilty of an offence but receives this bond instead of a sentencing term.

      For this period, the court will order varying lists of conditions it deems appropriate that the offender must abide by. If the offender defaults on this GBB scheme, the court may prosecute them for the original offence.

      A section 9 Good behaviour bond lasts for a maximum of 5 years. Also, the details of the bond, including; the date, and offence details may show in your Police Check NSW. This depends on the purpose of the Check.

    3. Section 10 Good Behaviour Bond
    4. If a NSW court finds you guilty of an offence, they may opt to grant you a conditional discharge if you agree to a Good Behaviour Bond term. A GBB term will be in place, rather than a conviction as long as there is no breach of the conditions the court stipulates.

      The section 10 good behaviour bond conditions may also include appearing at the court whenever you are summoned and making regular reports to your officer.

      These Good Behaviour Bonds can last up to 2 years. And it usually does not show up in a Police Check in NSW.

    5. Section 12 Good Behaviour Bond
    6. For some convictions, the court may grant a Good Behaviour Bond instead of the imprisonment term order. This type is known as the suspended sentencing bond.

      Upon entering the suspended sentencing bond, the offender will be released from custody and abide by the bond for the duration.

      Section 12 good behaviour bonds/suspended sentences usually follow for offences where the imprisonment term imposed is not more than 2 years. It usually lasts for the duration of the original sentencing term.

      Details of a Section 12 Good Behaviour Bond is disclosed in a police background check.

    What are the conditions for a Good Behaviour Bond?

    When the court grants you a Good Behaviour Bond in the stead of recording a conviction against you, they will usually attach conditions, and in some cases, in addition to the stipulated ones.

    The general conditions for a Good Behaviour Bond are;

    • The offender must appear at the court when summoned (for any reason) at any time during the bond
    • The offender must be of good behaviour, including adhering to any of the prescribed conditions during that period.

    Other conditions that are usually attached to a Good Behaviour Bond in NSW include;

    • Supervision by community corrections
    • The Court can order an offender under the Good Behaviour Bond to report for supervision under the Community Corrections NSW (Probations and Parole). This action may last as long as the Community corrections consider necessary.

    • Counselling
    • In cases of; drug, alcohol or other substance abuse, indecent or abnormal Behaviours and show of emotions, the court may impose a counselling session order for the offender. The court will consider the attendance to this order a mandatory condition to validate the Good Behaviour Bond

    • Entering rehab
    • The court may prescribe a particular rehab centre as a place for the offender to complete the period of their good behaviour bond.

    Conditions that cannot be ordered

    Even where the court considers the need for restitution, it cannot order the offender to pay amounts in damages in compensation to the victim of the crime. This can only be done and supervised by the Victim Rights and Support Acts 2013.

    Also, the court cannot order the offender to perform community service work. It is done by the NSW Community Corrections Orders.

    Breaches to a Good Behaviour Bond

    The NSW courts can repeal a Good Behaviour bond if it rules that such has been breached through any of the following;

    • If the offender commits another offence of any kind (even different from the original offence)
    • If the offender fails to abide by some or all of the pre-agreed conditions;
    • Missing counselling/appointments
    • Neglecting court summons, and so on.

    Punishments for Breaching a Good Behaviour Bond

    The NSW Courts may take any or all of the following actions if there is a breach of the Good Behaviour Bond

    • Decide to take no action
    • Vary the conditions for the bond
    • Impose further conditions for the bond
    • Revoke the bond and prosecute the offender based on the original offence (Which will lead to harsher penalties)

    Does a Good Behaviour Bond show in a Police Check in NSW?

    The police check is a nationwide criminal result that discloses the criminal history of a person. It carries all pending charges, sentencing and imprisonment history, details of convictions, including pending charges.

    However, while a Section 10 Good Behaviour Bond may not carry a releasable criminal conviction or no conviction at all, sections 9, and 12 will be shown in a national criminal history check for applicants in NSW.

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