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A peace bond is a court order that requires a person to keep the peace with another person. This order is often granted in place of criminal charges, allowing a person who has been accused of threatening behavior to stay out of jail. Sometimes such an order is made after criminal charges have already been filed, as a condition for withdrawing the charges. There are penalties for individuals who violate these bonds, which may include monetary fines and jail time.
Peace bonds are typically granted to individuals who feel they have some reason to fear a specific person. For example, an individual may believe another party will harm him or members of his family. An individual may also seek such a bond if he believes another party will damage his property.
Before a peace bond is granted, an individual must request one from a law enforcement authority or court system in his jurisdiction. He typically has to fill out paperwork describing why he is afraid of the other person. Usually, he’ll have to go to court a few days later to continue the process of obtaining the order.
In court, the person who has requested the peace bond will have to answer questions regarding the case. Basically, he has to tell the judge and any lawyers present why he is afraid. The person who is accused of behaving in the threatening manner is usually present in court as well. The party who is requesting the bond may ask the accused person questions and vice versa.
If the judge who hears the case feels there are grounds for granting a peace bond, he will make the order. The order requires the accused to keep the peace, avoiding threatening or harmful behavior. In some places, this type of order will require the accused to stay away from the person who requested it. For example, the individual may be considered in violation of the peace bond if he goes within a certain distance of the other person. Sometimes, the accused person is prohibited from calling the other person as well.
The laws regarding the granting of peace bonds vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As such, the exact terms included in a peace bond vary from place to place. In most cases, this type of order lasts for a set period of time and requires the requester to go back to court to have it removed if he changes his mind and desires contact with the other party.