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Good Behaviour Bonds in Victoria (VIC)

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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.

The Victoria territories court can suspend a person’s conviction or discharge an offender under their Good Behaviour Bonds or Adjournment undertakings.

The defendant must, however, comply with the given conditions to fulfil the Good Behaviour Bonds (GBB). Though some of these conditions are pre-existent, others are issued by the court. And it depends on the exigencies of the case or offence.

The entire operation and technicalities of this Act are guided under the Sentencing Act of 1991.

What is an Adjourned Undertaking (GBB) in Victoria?

The Adjourned Undertaking order is a promise of the offender to abide by certain conditions and promise to be of good behaviour within a period. This Undertaking can be made with or without a conviction and imposed for a period of up to 5 years.

What happens on completion of the Good Behaviour Bond?

The adjourned undertaking is a form of agreement in the basic form between the State and the offender brokered through the court. If the offender completes the period of their Good Behaviour without further offences, the court must discharge the defendant without further hearing or penalty.

What are the types of Adjournment Undertaking (GBB)

The effects, type or length of the Good Behaviour Bond the court issues to an offender depends on some factors like the;

  • The severity of the offence
  • Prior convictions in related or similar offence (History of the offender)
  • The years of imprisonment the court orders for the offence.

Good Behaviour Bonds for Children

Good behaviour bonds are granted to juveniles under section 367 of the Children, Youth and Families Act of 2005. For all offences handled in the Children Court, it may adjourn proceedings without a conviction by imposing a period of Good Behaviour.

This type of Good Behaviour bond can only last for a maximum period of 1 year. The person will have their case dismissed without a conviction if they satisfy all the conditions of the bonds.

During the Period of Good Behaviour, the child must;

  • Be of good behaviour
  • Pay the specified bond amount
  • Appear in Court whenever summoned
  • Comply with all the special conditions by the court

What happens if the child faults any of the bonds?

If the court rules that the child defaulted any of the conditions for the bond, they may;

  • Declare the bond forfeited and keep the bond money
  • Impose no further penalty
  • Hold another hearing for a different offence

Why do Victoria Courts issue a Good Behaviour Bond?

Victorian legislation does not mean to downplay offences or trivialize them through the Good Behaviour Bonds but to help rehabilitate offenders. Some of the main reasons the court may issue an adjourned undertaking under the Section 72 are;

  • Facilitate the rehabilitation of minor offenders through unsupervised community participation
  • Deeply analyse and consider the technical, trivial or minor nature of the offence committed
  • Provides an option in circumstances where it is "hard" 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

Who does the Victorian Court grant a Good Behaviour Bond?

When offering a Good Behaviour Bond to an offender, the court may issue extra conditions in addition to those stipulated.

Some of the paramount conditions for a Good Behaviour Bond in Australia are;

  • The offender must be of “Good Behaviour" throughout the bond. It includes not getting another conviction or finding of guilt in any other crime for the period of adjournment.
  • The offender should pay a pre-stipulated sum to the Court Fund for the Adjournment Undertaking costs.

The Court may also impose special and necessary conditions for the Good BEhaviour Bonds as they deem appropriate. Some of the popular conditions are;

  • Compensation or restitution to the affected party or the State
  • Register and complete; Driving courses, Education programs, psychological Therapy, and so on.
  • Specific hours of Community Service

However, these additional orders must be for a maximum period of;

  • 2 years (if the length of the order is longer), otherwise
  • The length of the original order

Can a Good Behaviour Bond be cancelled or altered?

The prosecutor, defendant or other affected persons may apply to have varied or cancel a Bond. Such applications may be made at any point during the Good Behaviour Bond.

Some circumstances have changed since the order. It may be a material change or the fact the defendant can no longer cope with the conditions of the charge.

Some of the entire document provided to the Court to facilitate the order was inaccurate or invalid.

The defendant is no longer willing or able to comply with any of the conditions.

What happens when there is a cancellation of the Order?

If the Good Behaviour Bond Order is cancelled, the court may deal with the offender in the original charge or case. It can even treat the defendant as if they were guilty of the original offence or impose the stipulated penalties of such offences.

The Court must also prosecute the defendant of the Good Behaviour Bond for any other actions during that period.

If the defendant does not show up in Court for the application, a warrant can be issued for their arrest and re-trial.

Breaching a Good Behaviour Bond

If the court issues you a Good Behaviour Bond instead of conviction records or an imprisonment term, you must abide by all the conditions.

Breaching any or all of the Undertaking may attract more severe punishments than you would get in the original sentencing. Further to this, breaching a good behaviour bond will result in the offence showing on a police check.

    If the court concludes that a person breached a part of the Bond, they will summon them for a hearing. If they are found guilty, the court will re-sentence them for the original offence.
    If such person (defaulter) dishonours the court summons, the court will issue a warrant for their arrest and re-sentencing
    When handling matters of the breach,the court may also consider any other thing the defendant did during their Good Behaviour Bond.

Does a Good Behaviour Bond appear on a police check?

The Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Victoria is an important document to both employers and large organizations. It contains details of an individual’s conviction and pending charges.

Whether an offence for which you are issued a bond will appear on a police check depends on the type of Bond the Court grants the offender.


Sentencing Act 1991 (VIC) -

Sentencing Advisory Council Victoria (Dismissal, Discharge, Adjournment) -

Section 367 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (VIC) -

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