Peace bond

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This article is about a provision of Canadian law. For the fundraising device, see Nonviolent Peaceforce. For the marking of a possible weapon, see Peace-bonding.

In Canadian law, a peace bond is an order from a criminal court that requires a person to keep the peace and be on good behavior for a period of time. This essentially means that the person must not be charged with a criminal offence. [1] Peace bonds often have other conditions too, such as not having any weapons or staying away from a person or place.

A peace bond can be made by a criminal court Judge or a Justice of the Peace.[2] A peace bond is issued when the crown is strongly convinced that no guilt has happened. A person does not plead guilty when they enter into a peace bond. There is no finding of guilt made or conviction registered if a person agrees to a peace bond.[3]

The bond is usually set for twelve months.[4] If charges are withdrawn, the prosecution of those charges is finished and those same charges can never be brought back. However, if the person who has signed a peace bond transgresses the law within the 12 month period of signing it, there could be very serious repercussions, and this may result in a fine, or even jail time for violating the terms of the peace bond. [5] It will be considered a dismissed case in the US legal system.

There is no equal order to the peace bond in the US system, but a deferred prosecution has a similar effect. Since there is no conviction or admission of any guilt, charges that are withdrawn by a peace bond in Canada do not result in US inadmissibility under INA § 212 (a) (2). In addition, the issuance of a peace bond does not meet the definition for a conviction; moreover, a judge does not make a judgment of guilt when a peace bond is issued. In these cases, after the twelve months peace bond, all the police records related to the withdrawn charge will be destroyed.

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