Every time someone commits a serious offense requiring detention, a bail hearing must be held. A criminal lawyer may help prevent a client from being detained by assisting with the bail process. In Canada, an accused is presumed innocent until convicted before a court. The law requires that an accused be allowed to be released from custody.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides for a reasonable bond. This right is guaranteed ins. 11 (e) of the Charter states, “Any person charged with an offense has the right… to be released on reasonable bail without sureties”. The concept of bail is that a person who is accused or convicted of a crime should be able to get out of jail before their court date.
The Criminal Code describes the following conditions in which an accused may be denied bail:
- If an accused is charged with a crime punishable by ten or more years and has been charged with a crime, they cannot get bail unless it’s their first offense and there are extraordinary circumstances.
- The criminal code also states that an accused person can be denied bail if they are charged with a crime that the criminal code specifies must be tried in superior court, even though they have never been convicted of such a crime before.
- An accused may also be refused bail for failing to appear in court.
- An accused may not get bail if charged with a criminal offense and is already on probation, parole, or under a conditional sentence until their charges are dealt with.
- If an accused punishable by ten years is denied bail, they have a right to appeal this decision within five days of their initial arrest.
Once the person accused of the crime has made bail, they are required to attend all court dates. If the accused cannot appear, he or she may be arrested and await another hearing for his or her right to bail.
Understand The Term “Bail”:
Bail is a court order involving a person to be set free before their trial date, on the condition that they will show up for their court date. The criminal justice system argues that if a person is set free before their trial, then they may choose to go into hiding or otherwise evade law enforcement. Therefore, the court will only release the person under certain conditions.
Conditions of bail are that the accused must not break any laws, they must stay away from certain people or places, regularly check in with the police, and agree to whatever other conditions the judge sets out. In Canada, both a surety and deposit are used to ensure the accused returns for their court date. A surety is a promise to pay money if an accused cannot return to court.
Who Can Get Bail?
If you have been arrested and accused in Canada, you may be released from jail before your court date. Once you are arrested and charged, you will go before a judge who will set your bail conditions. This is done so that you can return to your life and work while waiting for your trial date. You will be released into your recognizance or that of a surety (co-signer) or cash deposit.
As a general rule, if you are accused of a serious offense for which the law requires imprisonment to be imposed if found guilty, you will not be granted bail unless the prosecution agrees.
- If you are not accused of a serious offense, you will be granted bail if no other reason exists to keep you in custody.
- If you are charged with a minor offense and do not pose an imminent danger to the public, you will be granted bail.
Factors that may cause denying you bail include, but are not limited to:
- You pose a risk of non-appearance [because you have a criminal record or history of not attending court].
- You represent a threat to public security. [because you have a history of violence, threats, or drug-related offenses].
- You represent a danger for the administration of justice [because you are believed to have committed a crime while on bail].
- You cannot surrender to custody [because you do not show up for court dates, call in with excuses, have no fixed address].
- You are in the country illegally.
- A surety does not agree to be bound by your release conditions.
- You do not agree to be released on the conditions set out by the judge.
The prosecution opposes your release. [ may take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours for this process]
You have been denied bail previously.
It is important to note that the court hearings are not trials. The judge’s job at these hearings is not to decide if you committed the crime, but to determine whether you should be released from custody before your trial.
A judge considers the same factors he or she would for any bail hearing:
- Is there a substantial likelihood that the accused will flee or be a danger to the community?
- Will the accused appear for future court proceedings?
- Is the accused’s release contrary to the public interest?
Get Help From A Bail Lawyer:
If you go to court without a lawyer, it is unlikely that the judge will release you. You are the first option should be to contact your local legal aid office and talk to a lawyer about your opinions on the release. Another option is to seek the help of a bail attorney, who will represent you for an initial fee and then again at the trial.
Should You Need It?
A criminal defense lawyer can help determine if you should be released from jail and who you should seek as a surety. The lawyer can also appear with you or speak for you at your bail hearing. They can ensure that you fully understand your bail conditions and help you comply to the best of your abilities. Many criminal lawyers offer free consultations, so you can find out more about your legal rights and options before deciding.
If you are accused of a criminal offense, it is best to get in touch with a good criminal defense lawyer who assists you in understanding your legal rights, determines your chances of getting bail, and protects your interests. Contact Lawyer Approach for the hiring of a criminal lawyer in Mississauga.