Andrew Tanenbaum - Pardons Canada

How to remove a peace bond

January 31, 2024
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Andrew Tanenbaum
Pardons Canada

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Removing a peace bond in Canada is a legal matter that may arise for individuals who have previously entered into such an agreement. A peace bond, often issued under Section 810 of the Criminal Code, is a court order that requires an individual to maintain good behavior and abide by certain conditions for a specific period, typically up to 12 months. This article provides a legal perspective on the process and considerations involved in removing a peace bond in Canada.

How to remove a peace bond

Understanding Peace Bonds

A peace bond is a preventative measure, not a criminal conviction. It's used when there's a reasonable fear that an individual may commit a criminal offense, but there are no grounds for a criminal charge. The bond requires the individual to agree to specific conditions, such as avoiding contact with certain people or refraining from possessing weapons.

Duration of Peace Bonds

Typically, a peace bond lasts for a maximum of 12 months. Once the period expires, the bond is automatically lifted. The conditions imposed are no longer in effect, and the individual's obligation under the bond ceases.

Early Removal of a Peace Bond

Early removal of a peace bond before its set expiration is rare and challenging. The process involves:

  1. Filing an Application: An application must be filed with the court that issued the peace bond. This application should outline clear reasons why the early removal of the peace bond is justified.
  2. Legal Grounds: Convincing a court to terminate a peace bond early requires strong legal grounds. This might include demonstrating significant changes in circumstances or proving that the peace bond is no longer necessary for public safety.
  3. Court Hearing: A hearing will be scheduled where both parties (the applicant and the Crown prosecutor) can present their arguments. The judge will decide based on the evidence and arguments presented.

Legal Considerations

  1. Legal Representation: Given the complexity of this process, seeking legal advice from a lawyer experienced in criminal law is advisable. They can assist in preparing the application and represent the individual in court.
  2. Burden of Proof: The burden of proof lies with the applicant to demonstrate why the peace bond should be removed early.
  3. Potential Impact on Future Proceedings: Any attempt to modify a peace bond can impact future legal proceedings. For example, if the individual is facing related criminal charges, efforts to remove the peace bond could be interpreted in various ways by the court.
  4. Risk of Denial: There's always a risk that the court may deny the application, especially if the Crown provides compelling reasons to maintain the bond.

Implications of a Peace Bond

Having a peace bond may have several implications:

  1. Criminal Record Checks: While a peace bond is not a criminal conviction, it may appear in criminal record checks, potentially affecting employment or travel.
  2. Compliance: Non-compliance with the conditions of a peace bond can lead to criminal charges.
  3. Stigma: Despite not being a conviction, the existence of a peace bond can carry a social stigma.

Removing a peace bond in Canada is a legally complex and uncommon process. It involves applying to the court and potentially facing a legal hearing, with no guarantee of success. The decision to pursue early removal should be weighed carefully, considering the legal implications and the likelihood of success. Legal advice is crucial in navigating this process, ensuring the individual's rights are protected and the best possible outcome is achieved. For most individuals, waiting until the peace bond naturally expires is often the most practical and straightforward course of action.

You may consider using Pardons Canada (pardons.org) to assist in the pardon, file destruction and US waiver application process. Pardons Canada (pardons.org) has been helping Canadians for over 35 years and has an expert staff of over 25 employees at their head office to gather and prepare all of the necessary documentation for the application process.  You can speak to any counselor at 1877-929-6011 extension 1 and they would be happy to provide a free consultation on your specific case.

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Pardons Canada

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