In most cases, when someone is arrested and taken before a judge, they are to be released unless the prosecution can show cause for why their continued detention is justified. When the prosecution has no intention of consenting to the accused’s release, a bail hearing is required, where a judge determines whether the burden has been met to keep them detained.
You have one shot at a bail hearing, so it’s absolutely imperative that you make it count. Bail hearings require a lot of preparation (often times with family members and loved ones) in order to provide the necessary assurance to the court that there is a responsible and iron clad release plan that the accused will abide by should the court grant their release.
That’s why all hands are on deck from the moment that we’re informed that a client is being detained. Securing your loved one’s liberation is our top priority and we do everything in our power to get them out of jail as soon as possible.
What We Do to Secure Your Release
We know that every minute that a loved one is in a jail cell, their life is being negatively impacted so we’ll do everything in our power to get them pre-trial release from custody as soon as possible. This means working alongside the family from beginning to end to secure release.
Specifically, we’ll quickly work to understand what their personal circumstances and criminal history are, whether they have a place to stay and job to go to, the names and contact information of any potential sureties, and if necessary, how much money could be offered as a deposit to secure their release. We’ll also study the nature of the Crown’s case.
We’ll then negotiate with the prosecutor, presenting them with a solid release plan in the hopes of getting them to consent to their release. If consent can’t be obtained, we’ll conduct a bail hearing and work tirelessly to persuade the judge that release should be granted.
Understanding Bail Hearings and What to Expect
What is a bail hearing?
When you’re arrested, the police may decide (based on the seriousness of the charges, your priors, etc.) to keep you detained in jail. In the event that the prosecutor does not consent to your release, a bail hearing will take place. At this hearing, the judge will determine whether the prosecutor has made the case for your detention pending trial or whether you should be released, and if so, on what conditions. Under section 11(e) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you have the right not to be denied bail without just cause.
When is a bail hearing held?
In theory, a bail hearing can be held within 24 hours of arrest or as soon as possible. However, given the importance of securing release, it is not uncommon to postpone the hearing to the following day (or even the day after) to provide us with the time necessary to draft a release plan, secure sureties, and prepare for the hearing itself.
What factors could lead the judge to deny bail?
In order to show cause for continued detention, the prosecutor must prove at least one of the following three factors: 1) That detention is necessary to ensure attendance at court. 2) That detention is necessary to protect any alleged victims, witnesses or the public. 3) That detention is necessary to maintain the public’s confidence in the administration of justice. Of course, under certain circumstances, there will be a reverse onus on the accused to show cause for their release, but it is always the three criteria above that are under consideration.
Are there conditions that will be imposed upon release?
Generally speaking, release will be contingent upon you agreeing to follow specific conditions. Some common conditions include: keeping the peace and being of good behaviour, checking in with a police station at specific intervals, residing at a pre-approved address, disposing of any weapons in your possession, refraining from communicating with the alleged victim, attending certain therapies or rehabilitation programs (if applicable), and promising to pay (or depositing) money in the event that you breach your conditions. Of course, the law states that your release should be under the least onerous conditions possible