When a person is charged with a criminal offence, police in some cases have the discretion to release an accused with specific conditions, and on a promise to appear in court on a specified date. If the accused is not released, the individual is usually brought before a bail court within 24 hours. The Crown Attorney may decide to release the accused on consent, however, if they do not agree to the release, the accused has the right to a bail hearing. A bail hearing is held in front of a judge or a justice of the peace who will decide if the accused will be released on bail or held in custody.
A recognizance of bail is a written document from the court, allowing a person charged with a criminal offence to be out of jail while they await the resolution of their matter. For an accused person to be released on bail, the Court must be confident that if the person is released, they will attend court when required, comply with specified conditions and will not likely re-offend and jeopardize public safety.
During the bail hearing, the Crown Attorney will present the allegations to the court, after which the accused’s lawyer will try to convince the court that if released on bail, the accused will obey the specified bail conditions. In some instances, a surety will be proposed to the court. A surety is a person who agrees to supervise the accused while they are out on bail. A surety must pledge or promise an amount of money to the court as an assurance that the surety understands their responsibilities and takes the obligations seriously. If the accused does not comply with the conditions or terms of their release or attend court when required, it is the responsibility of the surety to call the police. The surety risks losing some or all of the money they have promised to the court should the accused not comply with their bail conditions.
If a person is released on bail, some of the more common bail conditions include:
It is important to retain a lawyer to represent you at a bail hearing, as you only get one chance at bail. If you do not get released, you will be held in custody until your trial or until some other resolution of your matter is reached.
If you have been charged with criminal offence and you are being detained in custody in London or Southwestern Ontario, call Jeff Conway for a free consultation.
At Jeff Conway Law we have the experience you need if you have been charged with an offence and are being held in custody. We will protect your rights and interests. We have a record of success in negotiating with the Crown Attorney to have our clients released on consent. If you are not released on consent you can trust that we will work with you to determine a suitable bail plan. We will seek out suitable sureties, prepare them for court and advocate for your release on bail.
Once conditions of bail are imposed, they are in effect until your trial date or until the resolution of your matter in court. Bail conditions can be restrictive and intrusive on your everyday life. Conditions may be overly harsh, and in some circumstances, may interfere with a your ability to work, study, and travel. This is even more of an issue considering the lengthy delay that an accused may experience as they await a trial.
Changing bail conditions requires the consent of the Crown Attorney. In some cases, if the bail variation is denied, the accused has the option of proceeding with a Bail Review.
If you are not released from custody after your bail hearing, or if your request for a bail variation was denied by the Crown Attorney, in some circumstances an application can be brought to the court for a review of the original decision. This is called a bail review.
Though the bail review itself does not actually take much time, the preparation for the bail review does. Bail reviews are a paper intensive process and often require a large package of materials which includes transcripts and affidavits.
If you or someone you know has been denied bail and is being unjustly detained, or if your conditions of release are overly restrictive, call Jeff Conway Law today for a free consultation.