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Breach Charges

Breach charges are defined as failure to comply with the condition of an undertaking, an appearance notice, recognizance, or release order. Breach-related charges are commonly misinterpreted as less severe crimes and hold less significance than other criminal-related offences. However, a judge may not treat this offence lightly, especially if there is more than one charge of breach.

Never underestimate the seriousness of an offence that affects the administration of justice. Our lawyers at Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence Firm understand the significance of a breach charge on your future if you are accused of breaching conditions. If you are facing a breach charge, you are conceivably dealing with other coinciding legal matters.

We may be able to change the conditions to avoid a breach charge. We will navigate breach charges skillfully and equitably to build a strong defence for your case. There are valid defences to breach charges and, with the right negotiations, you can potentially have charges withdrawn, a conditional discharge or a not-guilty verdict.


1. What are Breach Charges?

A breach charge can encompass anything from breaching conditions of bail or probation, to failing to attend for court or identification, to contravening court orders, such as violating terms of a driving prohibition or weapons prohibition.

Though some may view these offences as being less serious or technical in nature, convictions for these kinds of crimes supply the State with powerful tools to justify incarceration should a person come into contact with the criminal justice system in the future. Sometimes, even one conviction for a breach can have a considerable impact on your ability to be released on bail.

2. What defences do I have?

Courts are becoming increasingly more likely to impose highly restrictive conditions, such as house arrest or curfew, and some circumstances make it impossible or unreasonable to follow these conditions. Even if you have a reasonable excuse for the commission of breach, the Crown Prosecutor may still proceed with the charge(s). Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence Firm will identify any lawful justifications and make sure that you have the opportunity to voice your version of events.

3. Is it possible that my breach charges will be withdrawn?

Your breach charges might be withdrawn if you are eligible for the Alternative Measures Program (AMP) and successfully complete the AMP conditions.

Oftentimes, those charged with a breach are also facing substantial charges like Theft. Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence can act on your behalf in negotiating a comprehensive resolution which includes the withdrawal of your breach charges.

Recently won cases

R. v. D.S. [Calgary Provincial Court]

The client was charged with failing to attend a court appearance contrary to section 145(5) of the Criminal Code. Robin McIntyre spoke with the Crown prosecutor regarding resolution of the charge.

Successful result: The charge was withdrawn without ever having to be scheduled for trial.

R v J.H. [Okotoks Provincial Court]

The client was charged with two breach offences. He had a lengthy record for substantive charges as well as breach charges, and on a previous conviction for a breach charge, was sentenced to 30 days in prison. 

Successful Result: The client pled guilty to one breach and received a small fine with no jail term, and the remaining charge was withdrawn.

R v N.L.

The client had previously been sentenced on drug charges, and been given a Conditional Sentence Order, which allowed the client to serve the jail sentence in the community. It was alleged that the client breached the Conditional Sentence Order. Defence counsel negotiated resolution with the crown prosecutor. 

Successful result: Conditional Sentence Order was not collapsed, and the client was able to continue serving the remainder of the sentence in the community.

R v T.P.

The client was a youth charged with 8 counts of breach of recognizance contrary to s 145(3) of the Criminal Code. Written argument was made prior to trial that the Police breached the accused’s Charter rights by unlawfully entering and searching his home, resulting in the alleged breaches. 

Successful result: Charges were withdrawn at trial.

R v B.M. [Calgary Provincial Court]

The client was charged with several instances of breaching a court order counter to s 145 of the Criminal Code. The matter was set for trial. 

Successful Result: All the charges were withdrawn.