Recognizance

Filed Under: Criminal Law

A written acknowledgment under the Criminal Code of the responsibility for a debt, to be forfeited upon failure to comply with the terms of the recognizance. A recognizance is used in connection with a peace bond or in similar situations where a person is undertaking to comply with conditions in order to be released: see, for example, section 83.3 dealing with the prevention of terrorist activity. Recognizances were formerly a basis upon which bail could be granted, but the term now used in that context is release order.

Either (1) an obligation of record that is entered into before a court, containing a condition to perform a particular act, such as making a court appearance, or (2) a sum of money pledged to assure the performance of such an act.

A formal promise made by the accused to appear and respond to criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances, the accused may enter the recognizance before a police officer or a magistrate.

Form of release in which the accused person acknowledges that she will owe the state a specified amount of money in the event of default. If the release involves sureties, they are similarly obligated.

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