Mr. R was detained by security guards at an entertainment venue late one August evening after he and another party were separated for a consensual fight. Mr. R was injured after the fight and was treated for his injuries by EMS, but subsequently placed in the venue’s holding cells. Security alleges that while Mr. R was in the holding cell he repeatedly kicked the door, damaging both the door and the frame.
Police were contacted by the venue’s security and Mr. R was arrested, charged with mischief under $5,000 for the damage, and released to a family member.
Mr. R was a young man at the time of the arrest. He had been in an altercation and was suffering from injuries at the time he was confined by security. It was a stressful and difficult time for him.
It’s important to us that a criminal charge does not become a major obstacle in an individual’s life going forward, and that can be of particular concern for young people. Our goal was to negotiate with the Crown to have the charges against Mr. R withdrawn so that he could move on with his life and put the troublesome August evening behind him.
Our focus was on negotiating to have the charges withdrawn and success was aided by putting Mr. R in a position that made the Crown believe he had learned something from the situation. There are a number of ways to put the accused in a positive light with the Crown, some of which we adopted. We requested Mr. R make a charitable donation and retain the receipt to give to the Crown, to show a willingness to do good in the community. We also had Mr. R agree to a peace bond, an agreement between an accused and the state that the accused would be of good behaviour for a specific window of time, with a specified amount of money to be paid by the accused if they violate the bond. Peace bonds are a useful tool for avoiding a criminal record while allowing the Crown to maintain a sense of accomplishment in dealing with charged individuals.
The Crown agreed to withdraw the charges. Mr. R made a donation to charity as a sign of good faith and signed a peace bond, in which he agreed to be of good behaviour and avoid the entertainment venue for one year. Mr. R was able to put the entire incident behind him without carrying a criminal record and move on with his young life.