BAIL HEARING PROCESS FAQ
Are you planning to take part in a bail hearing in the near future? The following document will provide you with an overview of the process involved, as well as what to expect. It is not a substitute for legal advice, if you or somebody you know has been charged and is being held for a bail hearing you should consult a Toronto bail hearing lawyer.
An accused person should always exercise his/her constitutional right to silence and ask to speak to a lawyer once they have been charged. If the police decide to hold the accused for a bail hearing it is critical for the accused to not discuss any of the charges with family members, friends or anyone else who may act as a potential surety at the bail hearing.
The following are some of the factors the police will consider when determining whether they should release the accused from the police station:
1) If the police believe the accused is a flight risk and will not show up for court then they will most likely hold the accused for a bail hearing.
2) If the police believe the accused will pose a danger to the public or the complainant (the person who filed the complaint with the police), then they will most likely hold the accused for a bail hearing.
3) If the police believe there is a substantial likelihood that the accused will commit further criminal offences, then they will most likely hold the accused for a bail hearing.
4) If the police believe the accused may destroy evidence or will try to prevent the administration of justice, then they will most likely hold the accused for a bail hearing.
If the police believe the accused does not present any of the aforementioned concerns then they may release the accused from the police station with certain conditions.
An accused person has a right to be taken before a justice in order to address the issue of bail within a 24 hour period or as soon as practicable.At the actual bail hearing the Crown Attorney will read in the allegations against the accused and will make arguments as to why the accused person ought to be detained.
There are three separate and distinct grounds that the Crown Attorney will seek the detention of the accused. They are the following:
1) Is detention necessary in order to ensure the accused person attends court;
2) Is detention necessary for the protection and safety of the public, including any substantial likelihood that the accused, if released, will commit further criminal offences; and
3) Is detention necessary to preserve confidence in the administration of justice?
In order to secure the release of the accused a surety will usually be required.
The court will usually require the surety to pledge a certain sum of money to the court. In other words, the surety promises security for the accused. The security acts as a guarantee that as a surety you will make sure the accused person abides by all bail conditions, otherwise the surety risks losing the sum of money he/she has pledged to the court.
To be a strong candidate as a surety, you should meet the following criteria:
1) Have no criminal record
2) 21 years of age or older
3) Financially secure
4) Strong relationship with the accused (ie. Parent, spouse, relative)
1) The nature of the offence (Serious criminal offences will require the surety to pledge more money)
2) Does the accused have a prior criminal record?
3) The financial circumstances of the surety (As a general rule the surety is required to pledge an amount that is significant to him or her).
A well prepared surety in conjunction with a solid plan of supervision will substantially increase your chances of securing a release for the accused. An experienced lawyer can be of great assistance in this respect as he/she will be able to prepare the surety for the questions that can be expected at the bail hearing. More importantly, an experienced lawyer can also prepare the surety for some of the tough questions that may be asked by the Crown Attorney.
It is critical for the surety to be well prepared for the bail hearing as it is your best means of assuring a release for the accused.
If you need assistance for an upcoming bail hearing please call us for a FREE consultation at: 647.352.BAIL (2245).