Breach & Failure to Comply

A breach or a failure to comply charges can be laid by police if you do not meet the requirement of your probation order or bail conditions. Any time that you are released from custody or given conditions as part of a sentence, police have the discretion to charge you with a criminal offence if you do not meet them. A breach may also arise from breaking conditions of a peace bond or recognizance.

After Bail

A charge of failure to comply with bail conditions carries a maximum sentence of two years of jail, making this offence potentially more serious than the original offence you were charged with. Additionally if you are found guilty on this charge, it could make any other charges you have pending worse. Failure to comply convictions will also make future attempts at receiving bail more difficult.

Conditions often include having to regularly check in with police or someone responsible for looking after you (a surety), remaining in the province, a curfew, staying away from certain places or people, and prohibitions on possessing a firearm. If you are charged with another serious (indictable) offence while out on bail, this is also considered to be a breach of bail conditions.

Your lawyer can assist with you changing bail conditions between your release and the trial. Sometimes these conditions can also be confusing, so make sure to speak to your lawyer if there is something you want to do and you are not sure if it will breach your conditions.

During Probation

If you’ve received a period of probation instead of jail time or in addition to jail, you will receive conditions and be required to report to a probation officer. Failing to meet the conditions could result in you being arrested and charged for a separate offence of breach of probation.

There are three mandatory probation requirements, plus usually a few more that the judge feels appropriate:

  • keep the peace and be of good behavior;
  • appear before the court when required to do so by the court; and
  • notify the court or the probation officer in advance of any change of name or address, and promptly notify the court or the probation officer of any change of employment or occupation.
  • Other conditions usually require that you report to a probation officer, perform community service, and attending drug or alcohol treatment programs. A serious breach can result in a maximum of two years in prison.

We will defend you and fight against the breach charges as well as any original charges. It’s important to engage a lawyer for these charges because if you are convicted it tells the court that you are unable to play by their rules. This will hurt your criminal record and make all future problems with the law even worse.