A peace bond or recognizance is a court order requiring the person to whom it is directed (defendant) to keep the peace and be of good behavior.
In minor assault cases, the Crown might withdraw the charge upon the accused person entering a peace bond.
Conditions may be attached to ensure good conduct. It is usually required that the defendant avoid contact with and not go near the home of the person for whose protection the bond is issued. There is usually a requirement that the defendant not possess any firearms, ammunition or explosives.
A peace bond may be issued under section 810 of the Criminal Code or under the court's common law jurisdiction to bind a party over to keep the peace.
Under the Criminal Code, any person who fears on reasonable grounds that another person will hurt him or her, or his or her spouse or child, or damage his or her property can apply to a justice to have that person enter a peace bond. If the court is satisfied there are reasonable grounds for the applicant's fear, it will order the defendant to enter a recognizance to keep the peace.
A section 810 peace bond can be issued for up to a year. A common-law peace bondcan be imposed for longer periods.
Refusal to sign a section 810 bond can result in imprisonment for up to 12 months. It is a criminal offence to violate the conditions of a section 810 peace bond.
Signing a peace bond or recognizance does not give rise to a criminal record.
According to the Crown Policy Manual, a peace bond will be accepted as an appropriate remedy in a domestic assault matter only in "the most unusual circumstances."
The principles applicable to s. 810 applications were set out in a case called R. v. Soungie,  AJ No. 899 (Alta. PC). In that case, the Court held:
 Let me set out in point form the principles applicable to s. 810 applications:
(1) Section 810 is preventive in nature protecting the applicant in appropriate circumstances from future harm to the applicant, the applicant’s spouse, the applicant’s common law partner, the applicant’s children, or future damage to the applicant’s property. The Court is allowed to intervene to prevent a breach of the peace prior to an actual offence being committed.
(2) Section 810 restrains the liberty of the defendant to live his or her life free from restraint of that liberty.
(3) The Judge must balance the two competing interests in determining whether to place the defendant on a recognizance. That is, the Judge must balance the right of the defendant to privacy or to be left alone against the right of the applicant to a protective intervention in appropriate circumstances. Certainly, the Judge must be cautious in exercising discretion to affect the liberty of the subject, but this caution must be tempered with a view to the protection provided to the applicant where grounds have demonstrated the need for the recognizance.
(4) The applicant must actually fear that the defendant will cause personal injury to the applicant, the applicant’s spouse, the applicant’s common law partner, the applicant’s children, or will cause damage to the applicant’s property.
(5) The Judge must find that the applicant’s fears are reasonable, i.e., that an objective person armed with the same knowledge as the applicant would agree that the applicant’s fear are reasonable. The reasonable fear must be triggered by some action of the defendant.
(6) Evidence of the defendant’s previous misconduct is admissible to determine the basis for the belief’s held by the applicant. This evidence can be used by the Judge in determining whether the applicant’s fears are reasonable.
(7) The Judge is not asked to predict future behaviour; rather, the Judge must be satisfied from the evidence the likelihood of future harm or damage. The quality and strength of the evidence must be sufficient to satisfy this likelihood.
(8) The onus of persuasion is upon the applicant. The applicant must satisfy the Judge on the balance of probabilities of the grounds for the issuance of a recognizance.
But the law is not being followed. The court will often impose this peace bond just because the Crown asks for it. Evidence or proof is not needed. This is not a trivial matter. If you refuse to sign, you could be jailed for up to 12 months (or until you sign???)