- A bind over is an order which the court can make when it considers that the suspect may offend again. The suspect must agree to behave properly for a period of time. There must be sufficient evidence to support the complaint and to justify the making of the order. A bind over order may be appropriate as an alternative to prosecution if the case is minor and :
- the parties are reconciled;
- there is no history of violence;
- there is concern over a future breach of the peace.
- A bind over order may also be sought if the victim withdraws support for the prosecution, and it is decided to discontinue the case. Even then, the prosecutor should only seek such an order if there is still sufficient evidence to sustain the complaint. A bind over order operates in the interests of preventive justice.
- An accused may offer to be bound over on condition that the charges are dropped. The prosecutor must approach any such proposal with great caution. It should only be accepted after a careful consideration of the possible consequences and whether it would be in the public interest to do so. The views of the victim should also be taken into account. To dispose of the case in this way is not likely to be in the public interest in cases involving serious violence. If, however, the consequences of prosecution would be out of all proportion to the seriousness of the offence or to the penalty which the court is likely to impose, a bind over order may satisfy the interests of justice.