Home·Uncategorized·What is a Peace Bond in Alberta?

What is a Peace Bond in Alberta?

What is a Peace Bond?  

A Peace Bond is a court order where you promise to keep the peace and abide by a handful of court-ordered conditions, usually in exchange for the withdrawal of your charges. A Peace Bond will typically last for 12 months.

what is a peace bond in albert banner img

Will a Peace Bond give me a criminal record?

A Peace Bond is not a criminal conviction and will not appear on your criminal record. A Peace Bond is usually obtained as part of an agreement with the Crown where they will in fact, withdraw your criminal charge(s) at the same time as you enter the Peace Bond.

Is a Peace Bond a Good Thing? 

A Peace Bond is a practical way to resolve certain charges, such as a simple assault or a domestic assault. Getting a Peace Bond can save on the cost, uncertainty and stress of taking a matter to trial. Just because you have been charged with an offence, however, does not mean that you are entitled to a Peace Bond, even if it is your first offence or the incident was relatively minor. A Peace Bond has to be negotiated with the Crown Prosecutor’s office.

What Happens if I Get a Peace Bond?

If you are placed under a Peace Bond, you will likely have a number of conditions imposed on you for a certain period of time. You may also be on the hook financially if you breach a condition of the Peace Bond.

The conditions of a Peace Bond can include not contacting certain individuals, not consuming alcohol or drugs, not possessing any weapons, participating in counselling or treatment, and a variety of others. The conditions imposed will generally be tailored to the specific incident that caused the charges in the first place. For example, if you are alleged to have committed an assault at a bar, you may be prohibited from attending the bar in question for the duration of the Peace Bond.

 A Peace Bond is usually made with a “promise to pay.” That is to say; you acknowledge that if you breach any of the conditions of the Peace Bond, the government may come after you for a certain amount of money. If there are no breaches during the period of the Peace Bond, then there is no financial penalty to you. It is also possible that the court will require you to deposit a certain sum of money, which will be returned to you at the expiry of the Peace Bond if there have been no breaches.

 What are the two types of Peace Bonds in Canada?

There are two types of peace bonds in Canada – a “common law” Peace Bond, and a Peace Bond issued under section 810 of the Criminal Code. It is important to remember that breaching a condition of either type of Peace Bond is itself a new criminal offence.

Section 810 Peace Bonds 

Section 810 Peace Bonds require a police officer to appear before the court, in the presence of you and the Judge, swearing under oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that you will commit an offence if not placed under certain conditions. A section 810 Peace Bond can be up to 12 months in duration. Section 810 Peace Bonds are not seen as often as common law Peace Bonds, primarily due to the requirement of having a police officer attend the court in person. Certain judges, however, are only willing to proceed with peace bonds under section 810.

Common Law Peace Bonds 

Common law Peace Bonds require you to acknowledge to a Judge that there is a real risk that you might  breach the peace, but that with certain conditions in place, the risk goes away. Common law Peace Bonds operate very similarly to section 810 peace bonds, but they can be longer than 12 months in length.

 Common law Peace Bonds trace their roots back to a time before Canada was even a country, and we abided by the laws of England. Although very old, peace bonds have been repeatedly upheld as a valid tool for Canadian courts to both resolve certain matters efficiently and to ensure the preservation of the peace. The Ontario Court of Appeal in R v Musoni, 2009 ONCA 829 and Alberta’s Provincial Court more recently in R v Al-Mohamad, 2023 ABPC are two examples of this.

How do I get a Peace Bond?

A Peace Bond has to be negotiated with the Crown Prosecutor, it is not something you are entitled to or something you can simply ask a Judge for. If a Peace Bond has been agreed upon with the Crown, you will usually enter into a Peace Bond in exchange for the withdrawal of your charge(s) by the Crown.

We have helped many of our clients resolve their matters by way of a Peace Bond, allowing them to put their criminal charges behind them and to get on with their lives. While it is your constitutional right to have your charges heard in a trial and to have the Crown Prosecutor prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt, a Peace Bond is a practical way to shorten your involvement with the criminal justice system. 

Give us a call today for a free, confidential conversation to discuss if a Peace Bond is a possible resolution for your matter.

Areas of Practice

Call Us Today and
Book a Free Consultation

Contact us online to schedule a free consultation, or call to learn more about how we can help.

“Believe it or not, they managed to pull off a complete exoneration – all charges dropped, no fine, no hit on my insurance!  Thanks, Bulwark for a great job!!!  Five stars!”