In the bail hearing, the court will be required to ‘show cause’ why the accused should be denied their right to be released from custody on bail. The presiding trier (typically a justices of the peace) will be guided by the Bail Reform Act of Canada during the bail hearing. He/she will be considering.
It is the responsibility of the Crown Attorney and the police to prove to the judge that the accused is a flight risk, that he/she is likely to commit a crime again if released, or that he/she may interfere with evidence or prevent the gathering of fresh evidence.
If the charges are for a serious criminal offense or involve repeated offences, the bail hearing may be considered a “reverse onus”. This means the onus to prove why the accused should be released on bail is no longer on the crown attorney and the police but on the accused and his/her lawyer.
The most common situations where reverse onus applies are if the accused had been released on bail and is now facing new, unrelated criminal charges, for allegedly failing to follow the bail conditions; also, if the accused is being charged with a drug offence involving sale of drugs or any other serious offence that the judge, in his/her discretion, considers should warrant a reverse onus.
A Justice of the Peace will preside over the bail hearing, which will be held in a courtroom. On one side of the hearing will be the Crown Attorney, who will represent the police, and on the other side will be the accused (and/or his lawyer or duty counsel). Two types of arguments will be made.
To present its case for denial of bail or imposition of bail conditions, the Crown Attorney will present the allegations, mostly by reading the allegations as captured in the police synopsis. The Crown may call a witness or witnesses such as the police officer investigating the case to back the allegations presented. Heresay evidence may be read in, and challenged.
The accused person or his lawyer gets to counter the evidence presented, mostly by having the accused, a potential surety, or both testify.
The judge will then decide to either release the accused on bail or to deny him/her bail, giving reasons for either reason.
Under Canadian law, a person charged with a criminal offence may be released before trial or sentencing by a peace officer or by the courts (officially known as judicial interim release).
If the offence is a summary conviction offence, one that is within the absolute jurisdiction of a judge of a provincial court, or a hybrid offence, and if the peace officer is satisfied there is no need to preserve or secure evidence, prevent commission of an offence, prevent continuation of the offence, he/she can issue an appearance notice directing the accused to appear in court on a particular date for mug shots and the taking of fingerprints.
If not released by the police, the accused should be brought before a justice of the peace or a provincial court judge within 24 hours of the arrest and if a justice is not available, as soon as possible. Note there is an exception for offences falling under section 469 of the Canadian Criminal Code (treason and murder).
It is illegal, under the Canadian constitution, to deny an accused person reasonable bail without a just cause. Getting released on bail allows you to concentrate on your defense and it prevents disruption to your social life and your job, keeping in mind trial can take months and even years.
You should hire a lawyer because he/she will have the training and experience necessary to not only get you out on bail but to also get you out quickly. At Costa Law Firm, we have been helping clients get reasonable and quick bail for several years now.
The law gives latitude for the court to deny bail where there is public safety at risk. We will argue your case in the bail hearing, no matter the reasons given by the prosecutor for denial of bail.
If the Crown prosecutor argues that you are a risk to the public or a flight risk, we will put up arguments to the contrary.
If the court releases you on bail, it can require you to comply with one or more of these conditions:
In our arguments, our criminal lawyer Toronto will try to keep the conditions as flexible as possible.
Although the general rule is that you must remain in jail if your bail is denied, the Bail Review process gives you a chance to still get out. At Costa Law Firm, we assist clients with Bail Reviews. The judge could either release you or confirm the prior order.
If the circumstances have changed materially since you were detained to such an extent that, if a judge were to listen to the bail hearing today, he’d arrive at a more positive conclusion, we will make this argument in the hearing.
Judges make mistakes too. If such a mistake led to the denial of bail, we will point this out.
Note that the Bail Review could also be sought by the Crown prosecutor if you have been released. In such a case, we will put up a spirited fight to confirm the prior order.
Call us today on 416-535-6329 to talk to a criminal defence lawyer Toronto for all your bail hearing and bail review needs.