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What is a Breach (probation, undertaking)?

breach probation

What is a Breach (probation, undertaking)?

  • a breach is when someone does not comply with or violates the terms of a court order
  • there are many different types of breaches depending on the type of order
    • breach of undertaking
    • breach of recognizance
    • breach of probation


  • an undertaking form of release by police
  • it is essentially a promise
  • accused undertakes to abide by certain conditions during their release
  • there are many different possible conditions: to stay away from certain places, to stay in the jurisdiction, not to communicate with certain people, etc.


  • a recognizance also requires the accused to comply with certain conditions but there’s a financial penalty if they do not
  • a recognizance can be entered with sureties or without and with a deposit or without, depending on the circumstances

Breach of Recognizance or Undertaking

  • if you breach one of the conditions of the recognizance or an undertaking, it is an offence
  • failure to comply with the conditions is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding two years, if the crown proceeds by indictment, or the crown can proceed summarily (Criminal Code section 145(3))


  • a probation order can be a sentence on its own or can be part of a person’s sentence
  • the individual has to comply with a series of conditions
  • Some conditions are mandatory “keep the peace and be of good behaviour”, appear in court, notify the court of any changes to personal information (name, address, employer)
  • there can also be optional terms like non-communication orders, drug and alcohol conditions, etc.

Breach of Probation

  • if you fail to comply with the conditions of probation then it is a criminal offence
  • if you’re convicted of a breach of probation you could face up to 2 years in jail if the crown proceeds by indictment and up to 18-months in jail or a fine not exceeding $2000, if the crown proceeds summarily (Criminal Code 733.1(1))
  • if you commit an offence while you’re on probation it’s a failure to comply with the condition to “keep the peace and be of good behaviour”
Posted in Definitions and Explanations, Youth Matters

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