After being arrested, the police must release the accused pending trial or show why they should be kept in custody.
Bail hearings are “Court Hearings” to see if the accused should be released while awaiting trial.
Bail hearings are “Court Hearings” to see if the accused should be released while awaiting trial.
What is a Bail Hearing?
The judge must consider 4 things:
- will they commit the criminal act again?
- is the identity of the accused known?
- will the accused appear for their trial?
- has all the evidence been obtained?
During a bail hearing the onus is on the prosecution to explain why the accused should not be released from custody.
Bail hearing may also be called a “show cause hearing”.
Why do they Want a Bail Hearing?
Bail Hearings are considered necessary when one or more of the following grounds exists in a criminal prosecution;
To ensure that the accused attends court;
- where the accused has a history of failing to attend court or
- accused has a history of failing to abide by court orders,
- is there is a risk that the accused would flee the jurisdiction,
- to ensure the accused appears for the trial,
To protect the public;
- the accused should be kept in jail because
- they have a criminal record for similar offences,
- a history of violence, or
- where there is a fear that the accused will return and hurt the victim or another person, or
- that the accused will commit other crimes.
- to ensure that no other crimes are committed while not in jail.
To maintain confidence in the administration of justice;
- the court will consider the apparent strength of the prosecution’s case,
- the gravity of the offence,
- the circumstances surrounding its commission and,
- the potential for a lengthy jail term.
To obtain or gather evidence for the court case;
- the police may have requested the accused be held in custody because the case is ongoing,
- the police may be still gathering evidence for the case,
- the police do not want the accused to be able to contact others involved in the matter.
Since many Toronto area courts are overburdened with trials and have limited resources, when a person is arrested they can remain in jail for many months, unless they are released at their bail hearing.
If you or a family member has been arrested and are facing a bail hearing in the Toronto area contact me to discuss the bail hearing process.
Criminal Lawyer Nicholas Charitsis & Bail Hearings
Reverse Onus Show Cause Hearings
Some bail hearings for more serious criminal charges, may be considered a “reverse onus”.
Reverse onus, means the onus to show why the accused should be release is reversed from the police to the accused. The accused will be held in custody unless the accused or their lawyer can prove to the court why they should be released.
At the end of the bail hearing the Justice can either;
- release the accused pending their trial date,
- hold them in jail until the trial date, or
- release the accused with conditions placed upon them.
The Justice may require that a bond or cash deposit as bail be placed by someone acting as a surety for the accused. A surety is someone who puts up the bond (a promise to pay a set amount of money on behalf of the accused) at a bail hearing.
As many trials can take months and or years to come to court, contact us to be properly represented at the bail hearing to avoid being held in jail for an extended period of time.
Why a Lawyer for a Bail hearing?
As bail hearing lawyers, many times we can speak to the police to avoid going through the bail. Or if the arrested person is held in custody and a bail hearing is going to be held, as a lawyer we can;
- Arrange that the bail hearing be held as soon as possible, and
- Ensure that the accused is released from jail as soon as possible.
At the bail hearing a lawyer can;
- Ensure that the court does not put erroneous or strict bail conditions on the accused,
- Ensure there are no restrictions on movements and ability to work, and deal with issues like;
- house arrest, curfews and reporting conditions.
A bail hearing a lawyer assist your family by;
- Explaining the court hearing to your family, and guiding them though the process
- Information about becoming a surety and providing bail.
- Explain and help with any bail conditions that may be imposed.
- Answer any questions you may have at the hearing,
- Give advice on what documents may be needed to present to the court.
- Give assistance on what to say and how to act in court.
For the accused a lawyer helps by;
- Explaining the bail hearing process to the accused.
- Having witnesses and having people appear at the hearing to testify on your behalf.
- Explain to the accused how they need to act and present themselves.
- Guide the accused on what not to do or say in court.
Many times the crown attorney will want to know about issues such as treatment for alcohol and drugs use, or counselling that we can provide the answers to.
Call now to speak with a bail hearing law firm with years of experience in the Toronto and area courts at 416-878-2275.
★★★★★ Nicholas was extremely patient in explaining a complicated process to our worried family. Ending in the result of bringing my grandson home. We can’t thank him enough. M.Braithwaite, Toronto (GoogleReviews)
Why Not Duty Counsel?
While the accused does not have to retain a lawyer, and “duty counsel” (the free lawyer appointed by the government) is available, there maybe reasons why hiring your own lawyer for a bail hearing maybe more in your interests.
- The duty counsel lawyer has numerous case given to them that day and doesn’t have much time to give individual attention.
- The duty counsel lawyer does not have the time to go and speak to the police prior or during the bail hearing.
- The duty counsel lawyer has no vested interest in best interests of the accused at the hearing.
- The duty counsel lawyer won’t explain to the accused how they need to present themselves.
Having your lawyer representing the accused will ensure that the court hearing and process is conducted in the best interests of the accused.
Bail Hearing Reviews
Where the accused was not properly represented at the bail hearing initially and the accused is held in custody, we can apply to a higher court for a review of the bail hearing and any detention order. A bail hearing review requires that a separate application be made to the court.
At this hearing we will;
- properly represent the accused,
- brings forth any witnesses for the hearing and
- presents the accused in the best possible light
- to either have the accused released from custody or request changes in the bail conditions.
The Bail Hearing is Part of Your Defence
It is much harder to prepare for a trial where the accused is being held in custody.
Many times accused persons are pressured to plea guilty to secure a quick release from being held in jail, incarnated and due to family or work issues.
Being held in custody frustrates the communication with your family and legal counsel.
When the accused is out of jail they can;
- obtain counselling or
- receive treatment
- that may assist counsel in obtaining reduced charges,
- a favourable disposition to the case, or having the criminal charge dropped completely.
Once the bail hearing is heard, and the accused has been through the bail hearing process the Justice will grant bail to the accused person and they will be released from custody pending the trial.
Upon being released the accused may have certain conditions attached to the bail. Should the accused violate any of the conditions of the bail or commit a further crime the bail would be revoked and the accused would be returned to custody (jail).
As an bail hearing lawyers we ensure that you receive the best possible legal defence to successfully represent you in court. Contact us to discuss your case free of charge
Bail Conditions May Include;
At the bail hearing the court may insist that the accused if released from custody have conditions, (bail conditions) placed upon them, such as;
- Not to leave the country, and to surrender any passport.
- To reside a certain address, including curfews.
- To be of good behaviour, not to commit any further criminal acts.
- Not to attend certain places, or to stay away from addresses, e.g. places known for criminal activities, or a matrimonial home in the case of a domestic assault.
- Not to communicate with persons, e.g. spouses or witness.
- To report to the police daily, weekly, or monthly.
- To abstain from the consumption of alcohol or drugs
The court may want someone to assume the role of a surety. The term surety is the term used in court to describe someone who bailed out an accused person out of jail at a bail hearing. The court may also ask that the surety provide a bail bond.
To qualify to be a surety for a bail hearing you must meet the following criteria;
- You must be a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant,
- You should not have a criminal record, and
- You cannot be a surety for more than one person at the same time
The court will want the accused to live with the person who is the surety from the date released from jail to their court date. The surety should come to the bail hearing prepared with proof of identification and documents showing they sufficient assets to sign the bail bond. Assets which qualify for the bail bond are:
- Canadian savings
- A deposit account with a chartered bank
- GICs other investments or;
- Real property (ownership of a home, apartment, condominium, cottage).
- A line of credit or credit card or other assets such as a car do not qualify as proof of assets for the bail bond.
The Day of the Bail Hearing
At a bail hearing, the hearing will be held in a court room at the court house in front of a Justice of the Peace. A Crown Attorney will represent the police at the hearing and explain to the Justice or Justice why the accused should be kept in custody prior the trial being held.
The Crown Attorney may suggest that the accused could be released from custody but would ask the court to impose bail conditions upon them while on release. As many of the courts have a backlog of trials, not being released at the bail hearing could mean that the accused remains in jail for many months.
As a law firm that has appeared on hundreds of hearings we know the procedures for bail hearings to ensure that your family member has the best opportunity to be released from custody with or without bail conditions.
If the court decides that the accused may be released, the court may request that the accused have “Conditions” applied on them that they must follow. Having a lawyer at the hearing will ensure that strict or un-realistic conditions are not placed upon the accused.
Experienced Bail Hearing Lawyer
As a criminal defence lawyer I’ve helped thousands of people, successfully defending them in court and in bail hearings.
I know being arrested can be devastating, but there is a solution and we can help. As an experienced trial advocate, my association of criminal lawyers, former crown attorneys, and retired police officers ensures that No Stone is Left Unturned™ in defending and representing our clients.
Call us 416-731-7113 to discuss your legal defence.
This site is for information only and is not meant to replace qualified legal advice by a criminal defence lawyer. The application and interpretation of law and bail hearings is constantly changing, the writers shall not be held responsible for any information that may be incorrect or out of date. The owners of this website recommend that anyone wishing to fight a criminal charge obtain qualified legal advice before doing so.