Breaches Of Court Orders

Failure to Attend Court [C.C. s 145(2)]

A person commits the offence of Failure to Attend Court when he or she

(a) being at large on an undertaking or recognizance, fails to attend court in accordance with the undertaking or recognizance; or

(b) appeared before a court and fails to attend court as thereafter required by the court, justice or judge.

You cannot be convicted of Failure to Attend Court if you have a lawful excuse for failing to appear. However, as you, and not the prosecutor, bear the burden of proving an excuse that is lawful in the eyes of the law, legal representation is imperative to effectively argue such a defence.

Potential penalty upon conviction:
(i) if Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 2 years jail
(ii) if Crown proceeds summarily: maximum of 6 months jail

Failure to Comply (with recognizance or undertaking) [C.C. s 145(3)]

A person commits the offence of Failure to Comply when he or she is at large on an undertaking or recognizance and is bound to comply with a condition of that undertaking or recognizance and fails to do so.

You cannot be convicted of Failure to Comply if you have a lawful excuse for breaching the relevant condition(s) of the recognizance or undertaking. However, the onus lies on you, rather than the prosecutor, to prove an excuse that is lawful in the eyes of the law. As expert advocacy is necessary to argue what constitutes a lawful excuse, legal representation is critical to successfully put forward such a defence.

Potential penalty upon conviction:
(i) if Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 2 years jail
(ii) if Crown proceeds summarily: maximum of 6 months jail

Failure to Comply (with probation order) [C.C. s 733.1(1)]

A person commits the offence of Failure to Comply when he or she is an offender who is bound by a probation order and fails or refuses to comply with that order.

Similar to Failure to Attend Court and Failure to Comply with condition of recognizance or undertaking, you can avoid conviction by establishing a reasonable excuse. However, legal representation is especially crucial for this offence as Crown Attorneys pursue it more stringently than breaches of other court orders since you have already been deemed an offender.

Potential penalty upon conviction:
(i) if Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 2 years jail
(ii) if Crown proceeds summarily: maximum of 18 months jail + fine

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