Peace bond



In Canadian law, a peace bond is an order from a
criminal In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It prescribes conduct perceived as thre ...
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of justice in Civil law (common law), civil, C ...

that requires a person to keep the peace and be on good behaviour for a period of time. This essentially means that the person who signs a peace bond must not be charged with any additional criminal offences during its duration. Peace bonds often have other conditions as well, such as not having any weapons or staying away from a particular person or place. Peace bonds are similar to a civil court
restraining order A restraining order or protective order, is an order used by a court to protect a person in a situation involving alleged domestic violence, child abuse, assault, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault. Restraining and personal protection or ...

restraining order
, and are also based on the lesser burden of proof of civil law. A peace bond can be issued by a criminal court judge or a Justice of the Peace. A peace bond is usually issued when the Crown Prosecutor is convinced that a strong case does not exist against the accused. A person does not plead guilty when they enter into a peace bond. Thus, there is no finding of guilt or conviction registered if a person agrees to sign a peace bond. One of the reasons why a person may agree to enter into a peace bond is to avoid a criminal trial, and ultimately the possibility of being convicted in a court of law of the offence for which they were charged. Being convicted in a court of law would entail receiving a criminal record. The peace bond itself is usually set for twelve months. If a peace bond is signed, then the charges are withdrawn, and the prosecution of those charges is considered to be complete, and those same charges can never be re-instated. However, if one or more of the conditions of a peace bond are broken, either by not obeying one of the conditions, or by getting charged with a subsequent criminal offence within the 12-month period of time in which it was signed, there could be very serious repercussions, as this may result in the person being charged with a separate criminal offence of "breach of recognizance" or "disobeying a court order". The defendant may also be required to forfeit the entire cash surety that they pledged to pay to the court (usually $500 or $1000) when they entered into the peace bond. Breaching any condition of a peace bond is considered a criminal offence. Moreover, as of July 19, 2015, a conviction for breaching a condition of a peace bond carries a maximum sentence of up to four years imprisonment. In exceptional cases, an expired peace bond may still be disclosed by the police if the person once subject to the bond is seeking a very detailed criminal history check (vulnerable sector search) in order to work or volunteer directly without supervision with children, seniors, or disabled individuals. Although there are no uniform standards across the country, after a five-year period has elapsed from the date that the peace bond was issued, and if the person subject to the peace bond has not since transgressed the law, it should no longer appear even in the most detailed type of criminal record check.

United States

Peace bonds, or "sureties for good behavior", appear to have been in common use in the early history of the United States. Many states still retain statutes that provide for the issuance of peace bonds, but they are infrequently invoked.See sources cited supra; see also Corpus Juris Secondum, 11 C.J.S. Breach of the Peace ยง 18. The constitutionality of existing peace bond statutes is questionable.

See also

* Binding over * Bail (Canada) *
Probation Probation in criminal law is a period of supervision over an offence (law), offender, ordered by the court often in lieu of incarceration. In some jurisdictions, the term ''probation'' applies only to community sentences (alternatives to incarce ...
Parole Parole (also known as provisional release or supervised release) is a form of early release of a prisoner, prison inmate where the prisoner agrees to abide by certain behavioral conditions, including checking-in with their designated parole offi ...

Anti-Social Behaviour Order An anti-social behaviour order (ASBO ) is a civil order made in Great Britain against a person who had been shown, on the balance of evidence, to have engaged in anti-social behaviour Antisocial behavior is a behavior that is defined as ...
(UK) *
Deferred prosecution A deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), which is very similar to a non-prosecution agreement (NPA), is a voluntary alternative to adjudication Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbitration, arbiter or judge reviews evidence (law), ev ...
(USA) *
Restraining order A restraining order or protective order, is an order used by a court to protect a person in a situation involving alleged domestic violence, child abuse, assault, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault. Restraining and personal protection or ...


External links

"Applying for a Peace Bond and Filing Assault Charges"
โ€“ from the
Canadian Bar Association The Canadian Bar Association (CBA), or Association du barreau canadien (ABC) in French, represents over 37,000 lawyers, judges, notaries, law teachers and law students from across Canada. History The Association's first Annual Meeting was he ...
British Columbia British Columbia (commonly abbreviated as BC) is the westernmost Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. It has a diverse geography, with rugged landscapes that include ...
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada โ€“ Section 810 peace bonds
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