Jian Ghomeshi, the former host of Q, CBC Radio One’s star-studded arts show, was found not guilty at a trial earlier this year. He was expected to stand trial again for a single charge of sexual assault in June of this year. But recent reports indicate that Mr. Ghomeshi is expected to sign a peace bond later this week which will result in the Crown withdrawing the final charge.
What is a Peace Bond?
A peace bond, which is also referred to as a recognizance is an is an order of the court made under section 810 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The order must be made by a judge or a justice of the peace and the accused must willingly agree to keep the peace and not commit any additional crimes.
A peace bond may be in force for up to one year, and may have additional conditions attached, including a requirement to abstain from alcohol or drugs, the requirement to provide a sample of a bodily substance at regular intervals (such as a urine sample). The accused may also be prohibited from possessing firearms or other weapons or may be prohibited from communicating with a person or coming within a certain distance of a specific place.
In exchange for signing a peace bond, charges are withdrawn. Signing a peace bond is not an admission or a conviction of guilt; however, a peace bond will show up on a criminal record check.
A peace bond is often put forward by the Crown when they don’t have a strong case but they don’t wish to drop the charge.
A peace bond is often used in domestic assault or other criminal cases to ensure that an accused does not contact a complainant. It is similar to and sometimes confused with a restraining order.
If an accused violates the terms of a peace bond, he or she is usually required to pay a fine to the court and could face additional charges, such as failing to obey a court order and up to 6 months in jail.
To speak with an experienced criminal defence lawyer, please contact Affleck & Barrison online or at 905-404-1947.