Late one April morning, Mr. F pulled into the lot of a car wash to clean his vehicle. As he approached the cleaning bay another vehicle, driven by Mr. M, pulled ahead of him and entered the cleaning bay. Mr. F was upset that he had been cut in line and exited his car to speak with Mr. M about it.
Mr. M wouldn’t admit that he had cut in line, instead, he suggested Mr. F just use another car wash. The two began to argue, and as it escalated it got physical. Mr. F shoved Mr. M into his car before he left. Mr. M contacted the police, and Mr. F was arrested for assault.
Assault is a broad offence. A light shove made in jest can be an assault, and so is maliciously punching someone in the face. Like the offence, the outcomes for assault can vary greatly. Someone found guilty of the more severe kinds of assault might end up in jail. The incident between Mr. F and Mr. M was nowhere near that severity. At the lighter end of the outcomes, the Crown can withdraw charges in exchange for a non-criminal consequence. Our goal was to obtain a peace bond, which would have Mr. F agree to be of good behaviour for a year and in exchange, the charges against him would be withdrawn and there would be no criminal record.
To have the charges withdrawn in exchange for a peace bond it is often beneficial to have the accused in some form of counselling, education, or community service. It shows the Crown that the individual can take some responsibility for the situation. In cases where the offence is not severe, the Crown may view this as enough to satisfy their goal of protecting society. If the accused is unlikely to re-offend because of personal growth than a trial and a potential prison sentence would be a major waste of resources.
Phil’s strategy was to propose this agreement to the Crown. Mr. F participating in some form of counselling or education in exchange for a withdrawal and peace bond.
The Crown agreed with Phil’s proposed outcome. She spoke with Mr. M to determine if he had any outstanding fears towards Mr. F, and since he did not the Crown did not feel obligated to seek incarceration to protect him. The Crown instructed Phil that once she was sent proof Mr. F had completed anger management courses they would sign the peace bond. Mr. F did so, and once the peace bond was signed Mr. F’s criminal charges were a thing of the past.