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Should I sign a peace bond to deal with my criminal case?
A peace bond is an order made in a criminal law court by a judge or justice of the peace to protect someone who has a reasonable fear that you will:
- hurt them, their spouse, their common-law partner, or their child
- damage their property
- distribute or share an intimate image or video of them without their permission
A peace bond requires you to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. This means you must not do anything to break the law. You may also have to follow other conditions the court thinks are necessary to prevent further harm. For example, you may not be allowed to contact the person or visit certain places.
Types of peace bonds
There are two types of peace bonds:
- a section 810 peace bond, which can’t last more than 1 year
- a common law peace bond, which can last more than 1 year
Section 810 peace bonds are the most common. They are sometimes called a s.810 recognizance.
Peace bonds in criminal cases
The Crown may offer you a peace bond to deal with your criminal charges if you agree to sign a peace bond. If you agree to the peace bond, they won't pursue your criminal charges.
It's your choice whether to agree to the peace bond. You don't have to accept the Crown's offer.
The Crown's offer to deal with your charges in this way is called a resolution position.
If you have a peace bond, it can be enforced anywhere in Canada. Most peace bonds last for up to 1 year.
If you don't follow the conditions of your peace bond, you can be charged with disobeying an order of the court or breach of recognizance. These are both criminal offences. You may also have to pay the court the money you promised as a security.