In order for an accused person to be released from custody prior to their trial, the accused person will usually have to agree to obey various conditions. These conditions are listed on a person’s undertaking or recognizance. If the accused does not obey a specific condition of their release then they can be charged with failing to comply with their recognizance or undertaking.
Unfortunately, allegations of breaching a bail order are common in the criminal justice system. A conviction for failing to comply with bail is treated harshly by the judiciary because it is viewed as an offence against the administration of justice.
If you are charged with failing to comply with an undertaking, the Crown Attorney must prove that you intended to breach a specific condition of your release. While a persons intention can often by inferred by the circumstances – this is not always the case. For example, if a person is bound by an 9 pm curfew and is found outside of his house at 9:15 pm, it does not necessarily mean that he intended to breach his bail condition. It could be possible that the accused has a reasonable excuse for why he is outside of his residence. If the accused has a reasonable excuse that is believed by the trial judge, he would be acquitted of the charge of failing to comply with a recognizance.
In some cases, a person might not have a reasonable excuse to an allegation of failing to comply with a recognizance. However, it is important to remember that the Crown must prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. In many cases, there are numerous evidentiary hurdles for the Crown to overcome to be successful. It is important to speak with a lawyer to discuss the specific facts of your case as there are many technical aspects to successfully defending an allegation of failing to comply.
A conviction for failing to comply with a recognizance is serious. Not only can it result in a jail sentence for a first time offender but it will also make it more difficult for a person to be released on bail should he ever find himself charged with a criminal offence again. Finally, if you are convicted for failing to comply with a recognizance, your surety could lose all or some of the money that he pledged to the Court when he signed bail for you.
If you are charged with fail to comply with a recognizance, contact Morrie Luft at 416-433-2402 to discuss your case.