Often, when someone is charged with an offence, they are released back into the community “on their own recognizance” to await their first court date. This means that the court is trusting that person to show up to court when they are supposed to. For more serious offences, or if an individual has a history of missing court or violating the conditions of his or her release, it may be harder for that person to get out of police custody pending the resolution of their matter.
When the police are unwilling to release someone charged with an offence, the next step is for the accused to attend what’s called a bail hearing. For most offenses, the crown must show during the bail hearing why the accused should not be released back into the community. They may argue, for example, that the particular accused is a flight risk because he or she did not attend mandatory court dates in the past. There exist many reasons why the crown may be reluctant to agree to bail, and these must be addressed in order to secure release.
During a bail hearing, there will be submissions from both the crown and the defence as to what the conditions of the bail should be. These can include questions such as:
- Will the accused need to provide a lump-sum bail payment to be held by the court until the resolution of the matter?
- Will someone need to act as a surety for the accused in that they will be responsible for making sure the accused complies with bail conditions?
- How much money, if any, must the surety be willing to pledge in order for the accused to be released?
- What will the other conditions of the release be? Are there restrictions on where the accused can be, what the accused can do, or with whom the accused can associate?
- What is the likelihood that the accused will comply with all of the conditions of release and show up for the first court date?
- Are all of the necessary components for the bail in place at the time of the bail hearing?
If bail is not granted, it may be possible for the accused to have a bail review in order to show the court why bail should have been granted. This is a more complex process than a simple bail hearing, however, and it similarly not guaranteed to be successful. Since bail matters deal directly with a person’s physical liberty in the time leading up to their trial, it is especially important to have the benefit of engaged and prepared legal counsel.
After bail has been granted or refused, the next will be to attend your first court date. Your lawyer will attempt to obtain any police disclosure (information about the charges and the situation leading to them) that is ready, but it is unlikely that substantial disclosure will be available before the first court appearance.
Whether or not you have been granted bail, Tailor Law criminal defence lawyers will sit down with you to find out what happened leading up to the charges and how to best resolve them while avoiding negative impacts on your life. If you have not made bail and are in custody, we will attend in person whenever possible in order to get the full story, directly from you.
As your case moves forward, your lawyer will gather additional disclosure about your charges as it is made available by the police or the crown. This disclosure may affect the strategy that you and your lawyer will choose in order to resolve your matter. A good criminal lawyer will make sure you are aware of your options and choices at each part of the judicial process.
It’s always easier to make important decisions about your life and future when you have all the information available to you. This is why it’s important to understand the legal proceedings through which your charges will be resolved. Don’t tackle this difficult task by yourself. The decisions you make about your criminal charges can affect the rest of your life. Tailor Law’s Toronto criminal lawyers will explain the legal and real-life consequences of your criminal matter every step of the way.
Sit down with a compassionate and focused criminal defence lawyer who can assess your situation and provide you with a general idea of what will happen next. Tailor Law offers a free 30-minute consultation with a Toronto criminal defence lawyer who will eagerly fight for your right to the presumption of innocence and a fair process. Book your consultation online anytime, or by calling 905-366-0202.