Good Behaviour Order
A Good Behaviour Order (often referred to as a good-behaviour bond) is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time.
The court can impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the order. Good Behaviour Orders are generally made for a period of three years or less and are rarely made for fewer than six months.
Section 13 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 states that a Good Behaviour Order requires an offender to sign an undertaking to comply with the offender’s good behaviour obligations under the Crimes (Sentence Administration) Act 2005 for a stated period.
Those obligations can be what are known as the core conditions or they can include additional conditions, tailored for each offender.
Section 85 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 stipulates that an offender must comply with his or her Good Behaviour Order, including the core conditions and any additional condition; and comply with any non-association order or place-restriction order; and comply with any other requirement under the Sentencing Act or the Corrections Management Act 2007 that applies to the offender.
Section 86 of the Sentencing Act outlines the core conditions of an offender’s Good Behaviour Order as:
- not committing any further offences;
- if the offender is charged with an offence, the offender must tell ACT Corrective Services about the charge as soon as possible, but within 2 days after the day the offender becomes aware of the charge;
- if the offender’s contact details change, the offender must tell Community Corrections about the change as soon as possible, but within 2 days after the day the offender knows the changed details;
- the offender must comply with any direction by Community Corrections in relation to the order;
- any sample given by the offender under a direction under Section 95 (relating to alcohol and drug tests for community-service work) must not be positive;
- if the order is subject to a probation condition or supervision condition, the offender must not leave the ACT for more than 24 hours, or another period if prescribed by regulation, without Corrections’ approval;
- the offender must comply with any agreement made by the offender to attend court;
- any condition prescribed by regulation that applies to the offender.
Some conditions that may be imposed, if necessary
Section 13 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 specifies that a Good Behaviour Order may include one or more of the following conditions:
- that the offender give security for a stated amount, with or without sureties, for compliance with the order (but this does not apply to a young offender);
- a community service condition;
- a rehabilitation program condition;
- a probation condition;
- that the offender comply with a reparation order;
- a condition prescribed by regulation;
- any other condition, not inconsistent with the sentencing Act or the Crimes (Sentence Administration) Act 2005, that the court considers appropriate.
Examples of these conditions include that the offender:
- undertake medical treatment and supervision (eg by taking medication and co-operating with medical assessments);
- supply samples of blood, breath, hair, saliva or urine for alcohol or drug testing if required by a corrections officer;
- attend educational, vocational, psychological, psychiatric or other programs or counselling;
- not drive a motor vehicle or consume alcohol or non‑prescription drugs or medications;
- regularly attend alcohol or drug-management programs.
If the offence is punishable by imprisonment, a Good Behaviour Order may be made instead of imposing a sentence of imprisonment or as part of a combination sentence that includes imprisonment; and may apply to all or part of the term of the sentence.
Is a Section 13 Good Behaviour Order a conviction and will I have a criminal record?
Not necessarily. A Good Behaviour Order can be imposed with or without conviction. If an offence is found proved but the court does not proceed to conviction by using Section 17 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005, the court can still impose a Good Behaviour Order. This is often called a conditional discharge.
With or without conviction, there will always be an entry on your criminal record for the result you obtained at court.
Can I travel overseas while on a Good Behaviour Order?
Being able to travel overseas whilst on a Good Behaviour Order depends on two things:
- any conditions that you are supposed to abide by that would prevent you from leaving, or, an inability to fulfil any conditions for a period of time whilst you are overseas; and/or
- the visa requirements of the particular country you intend to enter.
You should get specific legal advice about your personal situation if you are unsure.
What constitutes a breach of a Good Behaviour Order, and what happens if I do breach?
You can breach a Good Behaviour Order by:
- committing another offence of any kind; or
- failing to abide by any conditions that were set (such as not attending counselling or missing your appointments with your Community Corrections supervisor)
You may be summonsed to court for a breach of the Good Behaviour Order, and in some instances it is possible you can be arrested. The court can do any one of the following:
- decide to take no action;
- vary the conditions of the bond;
- impose further conditions on the bond; or
- revoke the bond and resentence you to a potentially tougher penalty.
What if I don’t sign my Good Behaviour Order?
Section 105 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 provides that the court that made the Good Behaviour Order may re-sentence the offender, or convict and sentence the offender, as if the order had not been made.
The offender has the same rights of appeal as the offender would have had if the Good Behaviour Order had not been made.
Court must give explanation to offenders
Section 102 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 provides that the court must ensure that reasonable steps are taken to explain to the offender in general terms (and in language the offender can readily understand):
- the nature and conditions of the Good Behaviour Order; and
- the offender’s good behaviour obligations under the Sentencing Act; and
- the consequences if the offender breaches the obligations.
However, failure to comply with the above provisions does not invalidate the Good Behaviour Order.
Section 103 of the Sentencing Act provides that as soon as practicable after the court makes the Good Behaviour Order, the court must ensure that written notice of the order, together with a copy of the order, is given to the offender and, if the order includes a community-service condition, probation condition or rehabilitation-program condition, to the Director-General of Corrective Services. For an offender under 18 years old, the notice and order must also be given to a parent or person with parental responsibility.
The notice must include the term of the Good Behaviour Order and, where appropriate, must give details of any community-service, probation and rehabilitation-program conditions.
Section 104 provides that the court must ensure that reasonable steps are taken to explain to any surety (a person vouching that the offender will comply with the order) in general terms (and in language that the surety can readily understand):
- the nature and the conditions of the order (including the amount of the security); and
- the offender’s good behaviour obligations, and
- the consequences for the offender and the surety if the offender breaches the obligations.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.