What is a Breach?

A breach occurs when you do something that you were required by the court to do, or not do.

Disobeying a Court Order.

Any court of justice can issue a court order. You may only Disobey a Court order if you have a lawful excuse. There are few lawful excuses that the court will entertain, such as medical emergency or self-defence. Disobeying a Court Order in punishable up to 2 years imprisonment.

Breach of Undertaking, Recognizance, Probation or Peace Bond.

If you are on probation, you must abide by the probation orders. You can only breach if you have a “lawful excuse.” Otherwise, breaching the probation orders in punishable up to 4 years imprisonment. This breach is known as a “fail to comply.”

Once arrested, you may be released on a promise to appear (undertaking), your own recognizance or a surety recognizance. A standard condition of the release is that you keep the peace and be of good behaviour. There may be other conditions imposed, such as to have no contact with a specific person, or to relinquish any weapons you own. A Breach of Recognizance or Undertaking is punishable up to 2 years imprisonment. Similarly, if you enter into a Peace Bond, you are required to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a year. Breach of Peace Bond is punishable up to 4 years imprisonment.

Failure to Attend Court or to Appear.

If you have been given a court order (summons, promise to appear, recognizance, undertaking) you must attend court.  Failure to do so can result in a FTA charge that can result in a jail sentence.  In some jurisdiction, the starting point for a FTA is 30-days jail!

I’ve been charged with a Breach - now what?

Do not try and talk your way out of the Breach once the police have placed you under arrest. If you think you have a “lawful excuse,” you should first tell a lawyer. You have a right to remain silent and speak with a lawyer, do so.

Criminal Defence Lawyers

Chances are, if you have allegedly breached, you will have other legal troubles that also need to be dealt with.  I can help guide you through the criminal justice system. I will go to court on your behalf, review the evidence, run a bail hearing, and provide you with the advice necessary so that you make an informed decision as to whether you want to have a trial or negotiate a plea resolution.  

You may qualify for Legal Aid:  See Legal Aid Ontario Information.

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If you or someone you care about is looking for a criminal lawyer in Ontario, please contact us 24/7 for help:

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