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Good Behaviour Bonds in Queensland (QLD)

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Australian National Character Check (ANCC) makes every effort to provide updated and accurate information to its customers. However due to the continuously changing nature of legislations for the Commonwealth and various States and Territories, it is inevitable that some information may not be up to date. The information on the website is general information only. The contents on the website do not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, suitability, accuracy or availability with respect to the information.

If the court finds you guilty of an offence, it is general practice that some forms of punishments in fines, convictions, recording or jail terms will follow. These punishments and fines are deterrents to potential offenders and a sort of restitution to the State or the party offended.

However, in Queensland, under the Penalties and Sentencing Act of 1992, the court can grant Good Behaviour Bonds to offenders.

What is a Good Behaviour Bond?

Good behaviour bonds may also be known as a recognizance program. It is an agreement between the court and the guilty party to release them if they meet certain agreements. These bonds are upheld with strict compliance and total submission.

It is a promise of the offender to the sentencing court to be of good behaviour and records for a certain period.

When the court grants the offender a good behaviour bond, they can have their sentencing suspended, postponed or cancelled depending on the kind of bond they get.

The Queensland Penalties and Sentencing Act 1992 stipulates the types of bonds;

  • Section 19 bond
  • Bonds under sections 30, 31, or 32
  • Section 24 bond

Section 19 Good Behaviour Bonds

In Queensland, the court may find you guilty of a summary offence or "minor offence" but issue you a Good behaviour bond under section 19. All those who get this kind of bond will not have the conviction recorded in their Police Criminal History Check.

Some of the offences may include;

  • Minor assaults
  • Minor drug offences
  • Public disturbance like Affray
  • Public scuffles, and other “less serious” offences

All those convicted of a minor drug offence may get a Good Behaviour Bond under section 19 to allow them to enter a diversionary program. However, the offender must attend the diversionary program to make the Bond relevant.

  • Drug Diversion programs are available for those charged with;
  • Possessing less than the banned amount of a dangerous drug
  • Possessing any of the instruments used to administer the drug
  • Improper or unsafe disposing of drug equipment like a syringe

However, you may not be eligible for the diversionary program if you are charged or have a prior conviction in;

  • Sexually related offences
  • Trafficking, dealing or production of dangerous drugs that was heard or will be heard in the supreme court
  • Indicted offences committed using violence. It excludes common assaults or serious assaults.

Good Behaviour Bonds under section 24

Such Good Behaviour Bonds are issued where the offender is convicted of offences like; property damage or stealing. The court does not record a conviction against the offender unless they have breached a part of the Bond and must reappear in court for resentencing.

If the court issues you a Bond under section 24, it will adjourn the sentencing to date sometimes in the following 6 months. However, it will release you based on recognizance, and you will need to come back if you are asked to.

There are other conditions attached to these bonds aside from the primary ones of;

  • Promise to be of good behaviour within the time agreed
  • Return or restore the property to the proper state
  • Pay compensation for damages caused

Good Behaviour Bonds 30,31 and 32

The Court in Queensland may issue a Section 30 Good behaviour bonds to people convicted of indictable offences. However, the court may order the offender to provide some sureties as part of the conditions for the bond.

Other conditions can be imposed in the bond, in addition to the primary ones of;

  • Promise to be of good behaviour
  • Appear in court whenever the person is summoned

Before accepting the bond, the offender must not be remanded in prison for longer than 1 year under the circumstances.

Section 31 Bonds are issued in cases of summary offences. These bonds are imposed for less than one year under these circumstances.

Section 32 Bonds are usually issued instead of other penalties that the court gives.

Breaching a Recognisance Order or Good Behaviour Bond

If the court finds you guilty of defaulting on any of the conditions it states for a Good Behaviour Bond, it pronounces the bond forfeited.

Once the court pronounces a person guilty of breaching the Good Behaviour bond;

  • A warrant is issued for their arrest
  • The offender will lose the surety promised under the bond
  • The offender is re-sentenced for the original offence
  • Prosecuted for new offences committed

Do other penalties apply for a Good Behaviour Bond?

If the court issues you with a Good Behaviour Bond under any of the sections, it does not absolve you of any fines or disqualification incurred.

For Driving and Traffic offences; the court may still order the disqualification of your licenses or demerit points.

The court may also order you to pay compensation or restitution to the sufferer as part of the conditions for "good behaviour" bonds.

Does a Good Behaviour Bond show in a police check?

Depending on the degree of your offence, and the number of prior offences, the court will not record a conviction against you.

Most Good Behaviour Bonds under the Section 19 and 24 do not appear in a police check QLD or the offender's police criminal record history.

However, a Good Behaviour bond issued under the section 30, 31 and 32 may show up in a police check result.

Who gets a Good Behaviour Bond instead of sentencing in Queensland

If the court finds you guilty of a first-time offence, they will likely offer you the option of a good behaviour bond.

A good behaviour bond is usually offered to first-time offenders:

  • Cases where such offence could affect their livelihood and career
  • Offences where there was no intent
  • Offences without aggravating circumstances

When you are charged with an offence, it is better to engage a lawyer experienced laws and sentencing.

An experienced lawyer will help you enter the right plea and organize a proper defence. Also, if the court finds you guilty, the lawyer can plead for lesser sentencing or bargain a Good Behaviour Bond for you.

Why Good Behaviour Bonds?

The simple best reason for getting a Good behaviour Bond is that;

  • The court will usually suspend your imprisonment term
  • Such offences may never appear in your records as long as you abide by the conditions.

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