What is a Peace Bond?
A peace bond is a court order issued by a justice of a peace or judge. There are two types of peace bonds: 1) a peace bond pursuant to section 810 of the Criminal Code and 2) a peace bond ordered pursuant to the common law.
A peace bond 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 set period of time. When you enter a peace bond, you are not pleading guilty, or admitting fault, and you will not get a conviction or criminal record. Since the Crown withdraws the charges once a person formally agrees to abide by the conditions of the bond, it is a form of resolution that people without criminal records find very appealing. However, a peace bond is not something that should be entered into without careful consideration, as a breach of the terms of the bond could lead to new criminal charges.
How Long is a Peace Bond?
A section 810 peace bond can last a maximum of 12 months. A common law peace bond can be longer, but 12 months is the most common length.
What are the Conditions of a Peace Bond?
The only mandatory condition of a peace bond is to “keep the peace and be of good behaviour.” Other conditions can be added and are the product of negotiations with the Crown. These conditions can include the following:
• No contact with the complainant or other individual;
• Not to attend certain locations;
• No weapons as defined in the Criminal Code; and
• Counselling as required.
What Happens if I Breach a Peace Bond?
It is a criminal offence to breach a condition of a Peace Bond. In addition, you may be required to forfeit the money that you pledged as part of your peace bond. The amount is typically $500.00, but it may be more depending on the amount you agreed upon as part of the resolution with the Crown.