What is a Peace Bond?

A peace bond is a court order that requires an accused person to “keep the peace and be of good behaviour” by meeting certain outlined conditions. Signing a peace bond is not an admission of guilt or an admission to the information being cited. Signing a peace bond only demonstrates that an accused agrees that there is a reasonable basis for entering into the peace bond.

Some common conditions that are set in a peace bond are that an accused person does not contact the person named on the peace bond, or come near their property. However, conditions can be more specific based on the situation. Typically, a peace bond lasts 12 months, but it can be longer depending on the type of peace bond that is imposed. Breaching a peace bond is a criminal offence and can carry criminal consequences.

Statutory Peace Bond

A statutory peace bond, outlined in section 810 of the Criminal Code of Canada, is based on a sworn information before the court indicating that a complainant has reasonable grounds to fear that an accused will cause personal injury to them, or to a relative of theirs. The complainant must have present or ongoing fear of the accused. This type of peace bond can only be in effect for a maximum duration of 12 months.

Common Law Peace Bond

Unlike a statutory peace bond, a common law peace bond does not require the complainant to have an ongoing fear of harm by the accused. This makes it broader in application. A common law peace bond can last for more than 12 months. When a judge is considering a common law peace bond, both parties must be allowed to make submissions on whether or not it should be implemented, as a matter of fairness.

Does a Peace Bond Show Up on a Criminal Record Check?

While a peace bond does not show up on a general criminal record check, information about a peace bond can show up when a vulnerable record check is done even after the peace bond expires without a breach taking place.