What Will Happen at a Bail Hearing?
A Bail Hearing is a hearing where the Crown will attempt to convince a Judge or Justice of the Peace why you should not be released. If charged with certain offenses, you may bear the onus of convincing a judge that your ought to be released with or without conditions.
There are three overarching considerations or grounds of detention why you should not be released.
Primary Grounds – You may not go to court when required.
Secondary Grounds – You may commit another crime or the public may be at risk if you are released.
Tertiary – The public would feel that the justice system is not working if you’re let out of custody.
Section 515 of the Criminal Code codifies the “Ladder Principle” which requires the least onerous form of release to be considered before stepping up the ladder to a more onerous one. Courts are required to ensure that the form of release and the conditions of release imposed on an accused be no more onerous than necessary to address the risks identified. Bail conditions are intended to be particularized to curtail identified risks posed by a particular accused and are to be imposed with restraint. Restraint is required because bail conditions limit the liberty of someone who is presumed innocent of the underlying offence. Our experienced lawyers work with you to develop a Bail Plan that is workable and addresses any risks that may be identified by the Crown.
It is important to get your bail right initially because you may be detained pending the conclusion of your matter or even if released, you may be placed with onerous conditions. If you are determined not to be releasable, you can try again in the Superior Court of Justice at a Bail Review, if there has been a change in your circumstances, or if there had been an error of law. You may also end up with a long list of restrictive conditions that may be difficult for you to follow and lead to further Criminal Code offenses. If you wish to get conditions changed, you will need to make an application to the Superior Court of Justice if the Crown does not consent.
In order to maximize the chances of a release order, it is important to prepare a strong bail plan in advance of the hearing.
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OUR TEAM OF
Former Provincial Crown Attorney
R. Gordon Gilbert
Former Federal Crown Attorney
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Alexandra R. Shackman
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James D. Gilbert
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