Peace bond (article 810 of the Criminal Code)

Jun 25, 2023

In the complex world of Canadian law, the commitment to not disturb public order plays a crucial role. This commitment, more commonly known as “810,” stems from Article 810 of the Criminal Code.

The majority of cases involving crimes against a person, such as assault or domestic violence, can be resolved through this commitment when both the prosecution and the complainant consent to it.

Essentially, it is an acknowledgment by the accused that the complainant has reasonable grounds to fear for their safety or the safety of their children.

An 810-type commitment can also be granted when the complainant has reasonable grounds to fear damage to their property. It should be noted that this acknowledgment is not considered a guilty plea under the Criminal Code.

So, what does it mean to accept a peace bond as a settlement of a criminal charge? Simply put, it means an individual who is accused of a crime agrees to abide by certain conditions set by the court. It’s important to note that accepting a peace bond is not an admission of guilt. It’s more of a promise to the court to stay out of trouble.

The conditions set in the peace bond can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. Most common conditions might include staying away from a particular person or place, not possessing weapons, or attending counselling. These conditions are valid for a maximum period of 12 months. Violating these conditions can lead to criminal charges, so it’s crucial to understand and strictly adhere to them.

An 810 commitment does not create a criminal record for the accused, which is why defense lawyers prefer this resolution option whenever possible. It is advantageous for an accused person as it typically leads to the withdrawal of the criminal charge, avoiding a stressful and costly trial for the accused.

It should be noted that although it does not result in a criminal record, a commitment to not disturb public order appears in background checks for the duration of its validity, which could potentially affect employment opportunities or travel to a foreign country.

For more information on this matter, please feel free to contact our criminal law attorneys.

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