What happens if I don’t follow the rules of a peace bond?

This article discusses the affect of not following a court-ordered peace bond.

If you don't follow the conditions set in a peace bond, you are considered to be in breach, and you can be charged with disobeying a court order or breach of recognizance. Both are serious criminal offences, and if you are found guilty of disobeying a court order, you will likely have a criminal record. If convicted, you could go to jail for up to two years.

A peace bond can also be referred to as a s.810 recognizance because section 810 of Canada's Criminal Code gives the court the authority to order this type of bond. If you don't follow the conditions of a s.810 peace bond, you can be charged with a breach of recognizance that could land you up to four years in jail if convicted.

A copy of the peace bond is given to the RCMP for their records and is also added to the national Canadian Police Information Computer database. Police can access this information during an investigation if they do a record check on you.

Conditions of a peace bond

The court can include the conditions you must follow as part of a peace bond, including:

· You pay or promise to pay money to the court if you do not follow any of the conditions

· Do not break the law

· No contact or visiting a specific person

· No calls, text, send letters or any other type of specified communication with a specific person

· No possession of ammunition, weapons or explosive devices/substances

· Follow any other conditions set out by the court to prevent further harm

Security money

When you sign a peace bond, you must pledge money to the court as security (often between $500 to $1,000). If you breach a condition of a peace bond, you can lose this money. If you had a legal excuse for violating the condition of the bond, you could argue before the court that you should not have to repay the security money.

Effects on a criminal record

Offences you cause by not obeying a peace bond are severe. If you are charged with a criminal offence at a later date, having a failure to comply with a peace bond on your record could affect whether you are held for bail and your chances of getting bail.

Having a criminal record could have serious repercussions on your life, affecting foreign travel, employment opportunities, immigration and other areas where a complete telling of your personal history is required.

Most peace bonds last for up to one year, during which time you must follow all the conditions.