It is one of the most common orders administered by the Court: a peace bond. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know the finer details that come with a peace bond.
What does the bond entail? How long does it last? What are the conditions? What happens if you breach it?
This blog post aims to breakdown and answer all the key questions that come with a peace bond.
Everything You Need To Know About Peace Bonds
What Is A Peace Bond?
Under section 810 of the Criminal Code, a peace bond is a protection order administered by a judge. It is used when a defendant appears likely to commit a criminal offence or hurt other individuals. Anybody who fears for their, and their family’s safety, can obtain a peace bond against the defendant from the Court.
How Long Does A Peace Bond Last?
Peace bonds can be enforced anywhere across Canada and can in place for up to one year, with a minimum of six months. However, if the threat remains consisted after the year, then the peace bond can be extended.
A peace bond is set up with certain conditions imposed by the Court. If the defendant were to break the terms of the peace bond, the action would be classified as a criminal offence, and therefore, the defendant would be criminally charged.
What Conditions Can Be Included In A Peace Bond?
There are many conditions which can be imposed in a peace bond, which the defendant must follow. Your Edmonton defence lawyer will be able to help you understand or plead a case against these conditions. Conditions can include:
- The defendant must “keep the peace” and be on good behavior for a period of 12 months
- They must not under any circumstance contact (via phone, text message, social media or letters) the victim or person that has issued the peace bond. They must also not contact family members or relatives that are related to the victim
- They are forbidden to visit the person’s home
- The defendant must not use any non-prescription drugs or alcohol, and if required, they will have to provide bodily samples to ensure they are following the conditions stipulated
- Defendants are forbidden from owning or using weapons of any sort
- They must also pay or agree to pay a cash bond to the Court
While these are the common conditions that are imposed by the Court, there are any other conditions, that are strictly related to your situation, that can be imposed in the peace bond. Having an Edmonton criminal defence lawyer presence can help you with your case.
Can You Plead Your Case Against The Peace Bond?
Yes, you can. For a peace bond to be issued, a peace bond hearing has to take place. A justice of the peace will listen to the evidence presented by both sides (the complainant and the defendant) and will decide whether the complainant has shown that on the “balance of probabilities” the defendant will cause injury.
You will be able to defend your stance during this hearing, but you should do it without speaking to your criminal lawyer in Edmonton. As the decision is out of your hands, it is best to get legal advice based on the circumstances of the case.
Is Agreeing To A Peace Bond The Same Thing As Pleading Guilty?
No, it is not the same. It is considered a separate entity, and once a person enters into a peace bond, it means that there is no finding of guilty. While the peace bond is still in effect, it will appear in a criminal record check for the police. Once it expires, it should be removed from your record.
However, in some cases, a person might enter a peace bond is to avoid a criminal record.
What Happens If You Break Or Disobey The Peace Bond?
Breaching any condition of the peace bond is a criminal offence. Whether you intentionally violate the peace bond or get involved in other illegal activities while on the bond, you will be charged by the Court.
Penalties can include losing some or all the money you pledged in Court, or as of 2015, you can be convicted of up to four years imprisonment, depending on the severity of your actions.
Dunlap Law provides the legal support and representation you need for your criminal case. Dunlap law is experienced with impaired driving or criminal offence cases. Send an email to [email protected] or give us a call. Calgary: (403) 474-8222 | Edmonton: (780) 428-2267 | Toll Free: 1-866-247-2264.