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Good behaviour bonds

If a court considers that there are good reasons, it may order the release of a defendant on the defendant's entering into a promise bond to be of good behaviour for such period as the court thinks fit, usually between six months and three years [Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) ss 96 and 97].

A good behaviour bond can be ordered:

  • where a court has imposed a sentence of imprisonment, which is suspended on the condition that the defendant enter into a good behaviour bond [s 96(1)]; or
  • where a court has discharged the defendant (with or without recording a conviction) without further penalty, on the condition that the defendant enter into a good behaviour bond [s 97(1)].

A good behaviour bond cannot be ordered where a person has committed an offence of murder, conspiracy to murder, aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of murder, treason, or a terrorist act [see s 95; see Part 5.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) for definition of terrorist act].

Payment of a sum of money may be specified in the event of non-compliance and guarantors may be required to ensure compliance [see Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) s 100].

A court may impose conditions that it thinks fit within the bond including, but not limited to:

  • being under the supervision of a community corrections officer;
  • undergoing medical, psychological or psychiatric treatment;
  • living at a particular address or not to live at a particular address;
  • performing community service work;
  • abstaining from drugs or alcohol;
  • paying an amount of compensation;
  • undertaking an intervention program; etc.

See Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) s 98.

If the bond contains a requirement to perform community service work, the conditions and provisions relating to that work are the same that apply for any community service order - see Community Service Orders.

The Court has power to vary or discharge a bond. The application is made either by the probationer (the person subject to the bond) or the Minister for Correctional Services [see s 103].

The Minister may also waive the obligations of probationers to comply with any conditions requiring supervision if the Minister is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for there to be supervision and it is not in the best interest of the probationer to remain under supervision [see s 103(5)].

The Court may also discharge the bond by order [see s 103(8)].

When a person does not comply with a condition of a bond, then there can be enforcement proceedings lodged against them [see s 113]. Usually this occurs when someone commits a further offence, has not completed community service work or has not complied with supervision by a community corrections officer.

When this occurs the Court can:

  • require payment of the monetary sum attached to the bond;
  • order payment of the guarantee;
  • convict and sentence the person;
  • allow further time to complete community service work; or
  • if the breach is trivial, or there is proper grounds for excusing it, the Court may not do anything or extend the bond period by up to one year, or vary or revoke conditions of the bond.

See Sentencing Act 2017 (SA) s 114.

Good behaviour bonds  :  Last Revised: Thu May 23rd 2019
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.