A peace bond is a court order issued by a judge. It is an agreement entered into whereby a person promises to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, in addition to other potential conditions, for a specific period of time. A peace bond does not require an individual to plead guilty or admit fault. You can either enter into a peace bond as an accused, or apply to obtain a peace bond against someone else.
What is a Peace Bond?
There are two types of peace bonds:
- A peace bond pursuant to section 810 of the Criminal Code (also known as an 810 Recognizance.
- A peace bond ordered pursuant to the common law.
A person who agrees to enter a peace bond does not have to admit any criminal or civil liability, and thus a conviction is not registered. However, the basis for entering a peace bond is as follows:
- Section 810: The complainant has reasonable grounds to fear the accused.
- Common Law: The accused has acted in such a way that justifies a concern that they may breach the peace in the future.
Once a person enters into a peace bond, the criminal charge(s) against him or her are withdrawn.
How Long Does a Peace Bond Last?
A section 810 peace bond can last a maximum of 12 months. A common law peace bond can be longer. Generally speaking, most peace bonds are 12 months in duration.
What are the Conditions of a Peace Bond?
In addition to the condition to keep the peace and be of good behaviour, there are other conditions that can be imposed with a peace bond, including, but not limited to:
- No contact with the complainant or other persons;
- Not to attend at certain locations;
- No weapons as defined in the Criminal Code
- Counselling as required;
- Remaining gainfully employed; and
- Reporting to a probation officer.
Breaching a Peace Bond
It is a criminal offence to breach a condition of a Peace Bond. In addition to being charged with a criminal offence, one may also have to pay money to the court. When you enter into a peace bond, one of the requirements is often to pledge a sum of money, referred to as a “no-cash deposit”. This amount will have to be paid to the court if the person subject to a peace bond breaches one of his or her conditions.
Obtaining a Peace Bond
One may also seek to obtain a peace bond against another person. In order to do so, the individual will have to demonstrate to a court that he or she has reasonable grounds to believe the other person poses a threat.
After a person applies for a peace bond, the accused will be served with a notice to appear in court, at which time he or she will be asked if they consent to entering into the peace bond, or whether he or she wishes for a hearing to be scheduled. At the hearing, both the individual who applied for the peace bond and the accused will be able to make submissions before a judge makes a ruling.
The information above provides a general overview of the Arson-related offences, as well as potential penalties and defences. However, no two cases are alike. Every criminal case is fact-specific and ranges in complexity, depending on the issues at play. Charged with Arson? Contact our office today at 416-924-5969 to learn more about how we can help you. Our team of lawyers is prepared to conduct a thorough review of your situation and develop an approach that is tailored to your needs. Obtaining proper legal representation is the first step in preparing a successful defence.