Depending on the type of criminal charges you are facing, there are a number of different penalties you may be given. For a more serious offence, you may find yourself facing the possibility of a prison sentence or a large fine. For less serious offences, common penalties include community service, smaller fines, and good behaviour bonds.
What is a good behaviour bond?
As the name suggests, a good behaviour bond is a court order that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. This type of penalty can be given in lieu of a more severe sentence, and you will generally only get a bond if the court believes you are at low risk of reoffending.
The conditions imposed under the bond vary depending on the offence. You must keep a clean criminal record. In some cases, you may be required not to associate with specific people, or undertake certain activities that the magistrate or judge believes are likely to lead to you reoffending. The conditions can also be extended to include your participation in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, or taking counselling for anger management and other related issues.
A good behaviour bond is preferable to many of the alternative sentences that can be given, and if you have been given a good behaviour bond, it is important that you take it seriously. Any breaches of the bond can lead to a revocation, and a harsher penalty being imposed instead.
How does the court decide on a good behaviour bond?
When deciding what sentence to give you, the magistrate or judge will take a number of factors into consideration. It is more likely they will give you a good behaviour bond if you:
- Don’t have a history of repeated offences.
- Are of good character and can provide character references.
- Are not likely to be a threat to the community if released.
- Have a need to be able to continue working and carrying out your usual community activities, such as having a family to support or dependent relatives to look after.
- Can show remorse for your actions and demonstrate that you are willing to address any underlying issues that may have contributed to the offence.
- Are able to explain any extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to the offence, and that are not likely to be repeated if you are released on a good behaviour bond.
What can I do to boost the likelihood of my getting one?
Your chances of getting a good behaviour bond are generally higher if you have a good lawyer with a strong track record of obtaining bonds for their clients. Obtaining good character references can increase your chances as well. Depending on the type of offence you committed, the courts may look highly on you if you voluntarily enrol in a driver’s education program, undergo drug or alcohol rehabilitation, or seek counselling for any issues that may have contributed to you committing the offence in the first place.
Your lawyer will be able to advise you early on as to whether or not you are likely to get a good behaviour bond, and help you ensure a positive outcome from your legal matter.