A bind-over order is not a form of punishment but a preventive measure whereby the court requires a person to enter into a recognizance, with or without sureties, in a fixed sum, to be of good behaviour or to keep the peace for a period not exceeding three years.
The bind-over order must make clear what the person must not do during the prescribed period. For example, if a bad-tampered person has assaulted another in public, the court may order that person to be “bound over in the sum of $1,000 for one year to be of good behaviour and to refrain from engaging in fighting in public”. If that person fights in public within the one-year period, the court will order him to pay $1,000.
For a person who has no previous criminal record and has committed an offence which is not too serious (e.g. common assault or fight in public place without any weapon), the prosecution may agree to offer no evidence against that person on condition that the person agrees to be bound over by the Magistrate. The advantage of this procedure (commonly called “O.N.E. Bind Over”) from the accused person's viewpoint is that he is technically acquitted of the criminal charge and so will not have any criminal conviction record. On the other hand, the interest of justice is satisfied by subjecting the accused person to a court order of a preventive nature so that he will not commit similar wrongdoing again. This O.N.E. Bind Over procedure generally requires the consent of both the prosecution and the accused person with the approval of the Magistrate.