Breaches and Failure to Appear
Breach of court orders and failure to appear charges are not always “open and shut” cases from a prosecutor’s perspective.
All too often, people plead guilty to system-generated offences such as breach of bail orders, breach of probation, or failure to appear in court. The accused will frequently receive a sentence of a fine or time served, which at the time may seem like a positive outcome for an offence which they believe has no defences.
Unfortunately, a guilty plea even to a minor breach of a court order will result in a criminal record. For those without a record, having one can cause immediate difficulties with employment, travel, and volunteering. For those who already have a record, the addition of one or more entries for breaching court orders can cause significant trouble obtaining bail if they are arrested in the future, and even when bail is successful, will often lead to release on more restrictive terms.
Breach of court orders and failure to appear charges are not always “open and shut” cases from a prosecutor’s perspective. There are frequently viable avenues of defence to these charges and well worth fighting.