Breach of Recognizance of Bail

Adam Goodman Toronto Lawyer

Have you been charged with ‘Breach of Recognizance of Bail’?

If so, you will want to seek experienced legal help because the courts generally take breaches quite seriously as they show a lack of respect for court orders.

Adam Goodman practices criminal law in Greater Toronto Area and has the necessary experience in defending people who have been charged with a Breach of Recognizance of Bail.

Adam has the know-how to be resourceful, aggressive & relentless in presenting the best possible case to defend your Breach of Recognizance of Bail charges.

Adam Goodman’s clients come first

Adam Goodman does not run a stuffy traditional criminal law firm. He regularly meets with clients at times that work for their busy schedules and he will happily arrange for an evening or weekend appointment.

Why it’s essential you hire an experienced criminal lawyer

Just because you’ve been charged with a Breach of Recognizance of Bail, that doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted.

Breach of Recognizance of Bail cases are complex and their hundreds of variables, do not assume that you do not have a defence. Often an experienced criminal lawyer will have huge list of possible legit defences that may allow your case to be dismissed.

What does “Breach of Recognizance” mean?

The offence of breach of recognizance is defined in s. 811 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The charge will be laid when it is believed that an individual has breached one or more of the terms of their bail. The offence constitutes a new criminal offence. When prosecuted by indictment the maximum penalty for this offence is two years in jail. Examples of when this charge may be laid include:

  • Being outside one’s home outside the hours of a court imposed curfew.
  • Failure to reside at a given address.
  • Failure to seek counseling as directed by the court.
  • Communicating with an individual whom a court has ordered non-communication.
  • Being found within a boundary in violation of an order to stay away from that area.
  • Failure to keep the peace and be of good behaviour (this may be laid if the individual is charged with a new criminal offence).

Courts generally take breaches quite seriously as they show a lack of respect for court orders. Sentencing options include absolute and conditional discharges, suspended sentences, fines, and a period in custody. A sentence may also include a probation order. Depending on the nature of the breach it is not unusual for an individual to be sentenced to a period in custody. Being found guilty of a breach of recognizance may make it more difficult for an individual to receive bail in the future as they have shown an unwillingness to respect court orders. This is an important factor that must be considered when determining how to proceed with a breach charge.

What happens if you are convicted of breach of recognizance?

The potential penalty for a break of recognizance of bail will vary depending on the aggravating and mitigating circumstances of the offence and the offender. Although sometimes the Crown will agree to divert such cases sentences can range from an absolute discharge to a period of time in custody.

Potential breach of recognizance defences:

  • Proof of the actual breach – the Crown will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the actions of the Accused did occur and were in contravention of a recognizance of bail.
  • Proof that the Accused was subject to a court order & their identity – the Crown must present the original or certified copies of the underlying information and recognizance of bail. They must also prove that the person arrested for the breach is the same person who was arrested and placed on bail on the underlying charges.
  • Reasonable excuse.

Breach of recognizance FAQs

Why are breaches taken so seriously?

Although there may not be an actual “victim” in a breach, the only way court orders can have any enforceability is if there are consequences attached to their contravention. There is generally a reason why a certain order was put in place, therefore courts expect them to be followed.

I am the complainant in a matter and have allowed contact with the Accused, are they in breach?

Yes. If there is a court order in place then it must be followed until it is varied or the matter is completed.

I was clearly in breach, shouldn’t I just plead guilty?

Breach charges are very technical. For there to be a conviction the Crown must prove a number of different elements as well as have proper paperwork before the court. In many cases there is little advantage to plead guilty to a breach.

Is having a breach on my record really a big deal?

It’s still a criminal record or, in cases of a discharge, a finding of guilt. A breach may also make it more difficult to be granted bail should an Accused person be arrested again as they have showed a lack of respect for court orders.

How much does it cost to hire Adam Goodman?

In most cases, a retainer (usually between $2000-4000) is required to begin working on your matter. Depending on the circumstance, Adam may consider working on a contingency or partial contingency basis. Adam’s law practice offers payment plans and also accepts various forms of payment including debit and credit cards.

What should you do next?

Remember Adam Goodman offers free assessments and it costs you nothing to pick up the phone to find out your rights. Contact Adam Goodman today for a free assessment of your Breach of Recognizance case and let him help lessen your stress and worries about your legal matter(s).