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This script explains what to do if someone threatens or assaults you. You have two choices:
- apply for a peace bond against a person who has threatened to hurt you or damage your property, or
- file assault charges against a person who has hurt or threatened you.
Also, check scripts:
A peace bond is a court order designed to prevent an assault. A peace bond orders a person to be of good behaviour and obey conditions the judge orders, for up to a year. One condition may be that the person must not go to your home or work or contact you (by phone, email, text message, through another person, or any other way).
You can apply to court for a peace bond against anyone who has seriously threatened to hurt you or damage your property. It could be a stranger, a spouse, or a family member. You have to show the court that you fear the person, that you have good reason for your fear, and that the person has seriously threatened you. If that’s your case, you should file a report with the police. The police will then decide whether to ask a court to issue a peace bond. Give the police as many details of the threat as possible. If the threat continues, keep a record of every time it happens and every voicemail, email, text message, social media post, and other record the person used, with the exact words used in the threat.
If the police don’t ask the court for a peace bond, you may apply for one yourself. Go to a Provincial Court, criminal division, and ask a justice of the peace about how to apply for a peace bond. If the person who threatened you is under 18, go to youth court instead of adult criminal division.
To begin the process, you will need to complete a document, called an “information”, naming the person who threatened to hurt you or damage your property. It is a sworn document that you will complete with the Justice of the Peace. This just starts the paperwork for a hearing before a judge who can issue the peace bond. You don’t need a lawyer at the hearing because the prosecutor (also called Crown Counsel or Crown), will ask the judge for the peace bond.
Depending on the details you give to the Justice of the Peace, the justice of the peace may issue a warrant so the police can arrest the person before the hearing. If the police arrest the person, the court may release them with conditions – if they promise not to contact you or go to your home or work before the final hearing.
If the judge issues a peace bond, make a copy of it and keep it with you. If the person disobeys the peace bond, call the police immediately. They can arrest the person and charge them with a criminal offense. That could lead to a fine and up to 6 months in jail. If the peace bond includes your children, give a copy to the principal at their school or daycare, and to sports coaches and recreation instructors, etc.
If a person hurts you, or threatens to hurt you, you can ask the police to charge the person with assault under the Criminal Code. If the police won’t charge the person, you can ask the Crown, to do it. If the Crown also refuses to charge the person, you can still do other things; check script 215, called “Charging Someone with a Criminal Offense”.
If the Crown charges the person, the police will arrest the person. You don’t need a lawyer because the Crown makes the case against the person. The person can apply to court for bail to get out of jail. One condition of bail will probably be a “no contact order” to ensure the person doesn’t contact you.
Two types of assault:
The above was last reviewed for accuracy by Paul Briggs and edited by John Blois. Updated November 2015.
Dial-A-Law© is a library of legal information. Copyright 1983-2016 The Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch.
IMPORTANT: This page provides legal information, not legal advice. If you need legal advice consult a lawyer.
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