If you have been accused of a violent offence, your best chance of fighting a peace bond is before the peace bond is even signed. If you know that a peace bond is being sought and you would like to oppose it, it is in your best interests to contact a criminal defence lawyer who can help you make full and effective submission as to why it is unreasonable in the circumstances.
If you do not take this opportunity to demonstrate why it should not be imposed, it is highly unlikely that you will have any success in appealing the peace bond later on down the road. In fact in Canada, we do not actually have an unrestricted right to appeal a peace bond, and a peace bond can only be quashed in very narrow circumstances. Specifically, in order to appeal a peace bond, you will have to establish on the balance of probabilities that it is invalid for the reason that it was involuntary, uninformed, or equivocal. While it may not seem like it, this is a fairly high bar to meet. In order to prove involuntariness you will typically need to demonstrate that you were essentially deprived of your free choice through forceful or coercive behaviour. Arguments that the peace bond was uninformed or equivocal will typically tend to succeed only when you did not have counsel, or that your counsel was completely ineffective. If you did have experienced counsel, there will be a presumption in the counsel’s favour that you were properly informed of the consequences of the peace bond, and a presumption that your counsel was effective. Further, due to procedural considerations, it does take a considerable amount of time to actually have the matter brought before the court to be able to argue for the appeal. As such, by the time that you actually have an opportunity to formally request that the peace bond is quashed, it may be expired or may be almost be expired.
Given the difficulty of appealing a peace bond, the most effective way to deal with a peace bond after it has been implemented is to seek the assistance of a criminal defence lawyer who can help you make an application to vary the terms of the order. A criminal defence lawyer can help you bring the matter before the court and vary conditions such as no contacting or no going near the complainant, or conditions that may preclude you from entering your home.
Varying The Conditions Of Your Peace Bond:
It is a very common occurrence that the complainant and an accused would like to reconcile after a peace bond has been set in place, but are unable to because of the no contact and no go conditions attached to the peace bond. It is equally often the case that while the complainant and accused do not want to reconcile, they do need to be in contact for the purposes of paying shared bills or caring for their children.
With the consent of the complainant, a criminal defence lawyer can help you vary these conditions before the court so that you can reconcile or go on living your life in a normal manner. If you currently are subject to a peace bond and need conditions varied, contact one of our criminal defence lawyers immediately. We have years of experience dealing with violent offences and peace bonds, and we will be able to use our advocacy skills and legal knowledge to help you quickly achieve the results you want.