Failure to Comply with Recognizance / Undertaking


A.W. was charged with two counts of breaching his Recognizance of Bail. A.W. was originally charged with physically and sexually assaulting his former common law partner. After a legthy and contested hearing, Jonathan Pyzer was able to secure a bail release for A.W. with strict conditions, including no contact with the complainant. Three weeks after being released, A.W. was arrested again and charged with breaching his bail with the allegation that he had contacted his former common law partner by telephone. A.W. was unable to get bail again and Mr. Pyzer acted swiftly to secure a quick in custdoy trial date. A.W. was acquitted following a contested trial in the Ontario Court of Justice. Mr. Pyzer represented A.W. and was successful in arguing that based on the evidence presented at trial, the Court should have a reasonable doubt as to whether or not A.W. intended to commit the alleged offence. The call was admitted however the defence argued that the call was made accidentally as this was not a number that A.W. would usually use to contact the complainanat. 


The accused, M.S., was charged with failure to comply with a recognizance (bail order). The allegations were that in march 2007, while bound by a curfew between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00, M.S., was observed by the police to be in a vehicle at 4:30 am with a female occupant. Mr. Pyzer was successful in having all of the charges against M.S., withdrawn.


The accused, J.R., was charged with failure to comply with a recognizance (peace bond). The allegation against J.R., was that he was found at a residence specifically prohibited in his bail order. Mr. Pyzer convinced the crown attorney to withdraw the charge.


The accused, R.E., a young offender, was charged with failure to comply with a recognizance (bail order) and failure to comply with an undertaking given to a police officer. The allegations against R.E., were that he was investigated by the police while he was out of his residence past his curfew. Mr. Pyzer was successful in having all of the charges against R.E., withdrawn.


A.C., was charged with Domestic Assault and failure to comply with her recognizance. The allegations against A.C., were that she and her fianc? Got into a physical confrontation and that A.C., repeatedly scratched the complainant about his back and face and threw a bag of dog feces at him. A.C., was released on an undertaking with conditions that forbade her from having contact with the complainant. A.C., was arrested within days of her initial release on allegations that she was having contact with the complainant and in fact living with him. Mr. Pyzer represented A.C., and was successful in convincing the crown attorney’s office to stay the charges against A.C., prior to setting a trial date. As such, A.C., made no admission of guilt with respect to these charges and she does not have a criminal record as a result of these incidents.

R. v. S.M. – Speeding/Failure to Comply with Recognizance

S.M. was charged with one count of speeding and one count of failing to comply with recognizance conditions. Speeding is an infraction against the Ontario Highway Traffic Act that leads to monetary fines and issued demerit points, and failure to comply with recognizance is a criminal offence that exposes the accused to potential jail time. S.M.’s recognizance conditions stemmed from an incident several months earlier when he was charged with driving over the influence for having more than 80mgs of alcohol in his body. From that earlier incident, S.M. was under a condition to not operate or have care or control of a motor vehicle while his case was proceeding through the court system. When he was later pulled over for going 82km in a 60km zone, the officer learned S.M. was currently on a recognizance of bail from the earlier incident and by driving he was directly breaching the condition to not operate or have care or control of a vehicle. S.M. was arrested and held in jail overnight for a bail hearing. Failure to abide by recognizance conditions often results in jail time if the accused is convicted. Under the Criminal Code, if the Crown proceeds by indictment an accused can be liable to up to two years in jail. To be found guilty of breaching a recognizance of bail, the Crown has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was bound by a recognizance, that the accused breached one or more of the conditions, and that the accused intended to breach one or more of their conditions. Before going to trial, Jonathan Pyzer successfully convinced the Crown that S.M. sincerely believed his license had been reinstated and that he was no longer under recognizance conditions. The Crown withdrew both charges against S.M. when they realized they did not have a reasonable prospect of conviction; it was no longer likely they could prove S.M. intended to breach one of his conditions. If Jonathan Pyzer had not been successful in convincing the Crown to withdraw the speeding charge, S.M. was facing penalties that were more than just a fine under the Highway Traffic Act. Getting a speeding ticket in Ontario will affect your insurance premiums for three years from the date you paid your speeding ticket or from the date you were found guilty in court. Penalties also include demerit points and license suspensions.

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