When an individual faces criminal charges, the court may decide to release them on certain conditions meant to help prevent the repetition of criminal behaviour. These could include bail conditions before the trial, probation conditions or release on a peace bond. If these specified conditions are broken, it is considered a serious crime, and new charges will be laid against the accused.
In this article, we’ll examine various court orders and discuss the penalties for breaking the conditions of a court order.
AN EXPLANATION OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF COURT ORDERS
A court order is a ruling made by a judge that clearly states things you must do or not do as conditions of your release. Here are a few examples:
An undertaking is an agreement signed by the accused with the police, not a judge, instead of being held for a bail hearing. It often contains conditions that you need to follow as part of your release. If you don’t follow these conditions, you can be charged with failing to comply.
If you attend a bail hearing and make bail, you may be released on a release order that states your bail conditions. A release order usually contains specific requirements depending on the particular circumstances of your case. It often includes an amount of money that the accused would need to pay if they break the conditions (minimum $500) and a person to act as a surety.
If convicted an offender could be placed on probation for up to three years. In that case, they will often get a probation order that sets out conditions they must follow for a certain period of time after their release. Often these conditions include keeping the peace, appearing in court at designated times and informing their probation officer of their address, work and contact information.
A peace bond is a protection order made by the court. It is designed to prevent the accused from harming another person, their family or their property. If the court issues a peace bond, the person must obey the conditions or face criminal charges.
PENALTIES FOR DISOBEYING A COURT ORDER
If you break a court order, it is a criminal offence taken very seriously by the court, and it will result in a breach charge being laid. Breaking court orders indicates to the Crown and Judges that an accused cannot follow the orders set by the court and cannot be trusted to abide by the conditions.
Failure to Comply with Undertaking
If you do not follow an undertaking, it is a criminal offence, and you can be sentenced with up to a two-year prison term, but most sentences are in the range of 15 to 45 days depending on the circumstances of the offence and the accused. The Crown must prove that the accused intended to breach the probation conditions, and the accused did not break them through carelessness or objective recklessness.
Failure to Comply with Release Order
Failure to comply with a release order shows the court that the accused cannot be trusted to follow conditions and often results in a jail term upon conviction. Again, usually in the range of 15 to 45 days depending on the circumstances surrounding the offence and the personal circumstances of the accused. .
Breach of Probation
According to the Criminal Code, “Breach of probation is an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than four years; or (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.”
Breach of Peace Bond
The breach of a peace bond, also known as breach of recognizance, is considered (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than four years; or (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
It is a hybrid offence and the Crown prosecuting the matter can decide how to proceed.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN ACCUSED OF DISOBEYING A COURT ORDER
If you’ve been accused of disobeying a court order, it is a serious offence, and you need the help of an experienced lawyer. William Jaksa has over ten years of experience defending clients as a criminal defence attorney and can help you get the best outcome for your case. Contact William Jaksa today for a consultation.