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Good Behaviour Bonds in South Australia (SA)

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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.

When the court convicts a person for an offence, it usually imposes appropriate penalties or fines on the offender. There are numerous ways the court can issue punishments on the party, depending on the circumstances and severity of the offence.

However, one of the more lenient and benevolent sentencing options the Court may offer the offender is a Good Behaviour Bond.

What is a Good Behaviour Bond?

A good behaviour bond is an agreement between an offender (defendant) and the State brokered by the Court that they will be of good behaviour within a stipulated period. It includes that they will have no conviction recorded against them nor partake in any uncivil or indictable activity within the State or Territories.

At the end of this stipulated period, the defendant may have their penalty suspended or cancelled, with no conviction recorded on their criminal records.

However, the defendant must adhere to all conditions of the Good Behaviour Bond usually stipulated in the;

How does the Court grant a Good Behaviour Bond?

Not every convicted offender will receive an offer of a Good Behavior Bond. The Court takes a lot of discretion and considers various factors in granting an offender with a Good Behaviour Bond.

A court will issue a Good Behaviour Bond where;

  • It facilitates their rehabilitation through unsupervised community participation.
  • Analyses and factors the technical, trivial or minor nature of the offence committed.
  • Provides an option in circumstances where unfair to order a conviction for the offender
  • Provides an option where it is unfair to order punishments other than nominal punishments
  • Provides option in cases that have extenuating or exceptional circumstances that may warrant mercy

Can the conditions of a Good behaviour bond change?

Under some circumstances, the court can order for a review or revocation of Good behaviour Bonds. Usually, the biggest triggers are those made by the offender or a magistrate in the Correctional Services.

If the court rules that the offender has breached current conditions of their Good behaviour Bond that would affect future conditions; the court will void the bond.

Furthermore, the court may also review and vary the conditions of the bond if evidence appears that certain circumstances have changed that will hinder the defendant from obeying the conditions

Sometimes, the Minister or official for the correctional service may also release the offender from the obligations to comply with supervision. Such officials may make these variations if they insist that it is no longer necessary or helpful to do so.

What conditions does the court consider before issuing a Good Behaviour Bond?

The court does not just recommend or issue any offender to a good behaviour bond; it considers some factors like;

  • Offender's records
  • Previous convictions in related offences
  • Circumstances against the offences and aggravating actions
  • The severity of the offence
  • A potential threat to the State

The Court may consider any or all of these conditions based on proofs and records.

However, if the court finally agrees to release the offender based on the Good Behaviour Bond sentencing program, the offender must accept and abide by the pre-stipulated offer of;

  • The offender must be of good behaviour; they must not be convicted of any other offences
  • The offender must be present at court whenever they are summoned.

Asides from this, the court may also give other conditions such as;

  • Payment of a sum if the offender breaches the Bond
  • Presenting a guarantor to the Court should the offender default on the Bond. The Guarantor will be responsible for any cost or actions should the offender abscond from the bond
  • In rare cases, the Guarantor pays a sum to the court if the offender fails to comply with the bond
  • The Court may impose a compulsory community corrections officer on the offender for some time. It involves the offender reporting to the officer at certain times and is subject to their guidance
  • A stipulated number of hours in community service
  • Orders that the offender makes restitution or pay compensation for damages caused
  • Orders that the offender must return/replace stolen or damaged properties
  • Orders that the offender lives or avoids certain places or people for a specific time
  • Imposes that the offender should abstain completely from certain drugs or alcohol
  • Imposes an education program the applicant must complete
  • Orders the offender to participate in some sorts of intervention programs, receive medical or psychiatric treatments recommended by a State accredited and qualified personnel

Other conditions that the court considers appropriate for the circumstances.

What are Educational Programs?

When the court grants an offender a Good Behaviour Bond, it usually imposes an Educational program to facilitate their rehabilitation process. The two types of education programs include;

What does it mean to breach a Good behaviour Bond?

The Good Behaviour Bond is set up to help offenders, especially in related minor offences to get lesser sentencing options. It is useful for cases where the court does not find it necessary to order other higher forms of punishment. Breaches of a Good Behaviour Bond will in most circumstances show up on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check SA.

However, if the offender refuses to fulfil any of these conditions, or commits another offence within the Bond period, the court will nullify the Good Behaviour Bond.

A good behaviour bond is breached through any or all of these actions;

    ✔ Not appearing in Court when summoned
    ✔ Failing to report to your parole supervisor
    ✔ Getting another court conviction
    ✔ Refusing to do any of the stipulated conditions

What are the penalties of breaching a Good behaviour Bond?

If the court concludes that you have breached any of the conditions for the Good behaviour bonds, it will carry any or all of these actions;

  • Order the offender and guarantors to pay the stipulated fee for defaulting
  • Re-sentence the offender in court for the original offence if they were not originally convicted. The court can even impose a new penalty that will start after the order
  • Take no action; it occurs if such breach was trivial, or happened under justifiable conditions.

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