When someone is charged with a criminal offence and is arrested by the police, they may be released at the scene of their arrest, from the police station, or held for a bail hearing.
A bail hearing, often called a “show cause hearing”, is a very critical juncture for an accused person in the criminal trial process.
If you or someone you know is charged with criminal offences, including theft & fraud, robbery, domestic assault, sexual assault, weapons offences, drug offences or murder, it is in the accused’s best interest to have skilled criminal defence counsel act at the bail hearing.
At the law firm of Pyzer Criminal Lawyers, we have extensive experience and an excellent record of success conducting bail hearings and bail reviews for our clients.
High Quality of Attention:
We provide a high quality of attention to all of our clients.
This includes coming up with a strong bail plan to best ensure that the accused will be released, preparing sureties and even additional witnesses for the bail hearing, should they be required.
Least Restrictive Bail:
At bail hearings, it is not only the matter of bail versus detention which is at stake, it is the accused’s bail conditions at stake as well. Acquiring the least restrictive pre-trial bail conditions is of the utmost importance to the accused.
The quality of life when you are released on bail can be dramatically diminished should the bail regime be unnecessarily onerous.
Strict bail conditions, such as a court-enforced curfew, house arrest, restricted usage of the phone, or electronic devices can be extremely challenging for the accused while they are released on bail, awaiting trial, for months or even years.
At Pyzer Criminal Lawyers our experienced bail hearing lawyers can best ensure that the accused is released and on the least restrictive conditions possible, allowing them the most freedom.
Read our Bail Hearings Case Summaries to see how we’ve helped our clients to achieve release and on the least restrictive bail conditions possible.
Pyzer Criminal Lawyers will aggressively act for our clients in custody at their bail hearings to best ensure that they will be released and on the least restrictive conditions possible.
An experienced bail lawyer will assist the accused and their friends and/or family in coming up with the strongest possible bail hearing plan to convince the Court that the accused should be released.
If the charges are more serious and the accused has a criminal record, typically a surety will be required.
The bail lawyer will interview the accused and potential sureties and use the information acquired to construct a strong plan of release for the accused that can be presented to the court.
The experienced bail lawyer, will prepare and explain to the accused, and sureties what to expect at every stage and how to conduct themselves to ensure the best possible outcome.
Your bail hearing lawyer or duty counsel interviews the accused and the potential surety or sureties to gather general information about their background, age, address, education, employment, and living situation. They use this information to construct an appropriate plan of release for the accused that can be presented to the court to satisfy the court that the accused will attend court in the future.
The allegations against the accused will be read. The Defence lawyer will present the surety and the plan of release for the accused. If the accused release is contested the Crown will cross-examine the surety to try and demonstrate weaknesses in the defence’s plan of release. The defence will make submissions as to why the accused should be released. The Crown will then make arguments as to why the accused should not be released. Then the judge or Justice will make a determination as to whether the accused will be released.
In Canada, if an accused is detained in custody by the police, they must be brought before an Ontario Court of Justice provincial court judge or a justice of the peace without unreasonable delay.
Section 503 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code states: that where a justice is available within a period of twenty-four hours after the person has been arrested by or delivered to the peace officer, the person shall be taken before a justice without unreasonable delay and in any event within that period, and;
Section 503(1)(b) states: where a justice is not available within a period of twenty-four hours after the person has been arrested by or delivered to the peace officer, the person shall be taken before a justice as soon as possible, unless, at any time before the expiration of the time prescribed in paragraph (a) or (b) for taking the person before a justice,
The Justice of the Peace makes his or her decision to release the accused based upon three points:
These grounds ensure that confidence in the administration of justice is maintained.
A surety is someone who agrees to take responsibility for the accused who is released on bail. A surety can be a friend, family member or partner of the accused who is willing to sign bail for the accused so that the accused may be released from custody.
The Surety is asked to pledge or sign an amount of money. The money is required so that the surety takes their responsibility seriously. They are responsible to supervise the accused make sure that they comply with the conditions of their bail.
A surety is responsible for making sure the accused appears in court on time and on the right dates, and making sure that the accused obeys each condition of their bail. Should an individual be accepted as a surety by the Court, they must sign the bail of the accused.
This means that the surety is agreeing to pay a specified amount of money if the accused person fails to obey the court order. The amount of money pledged by the surety will vary depending on factors such as the seriousness of the allegations the accused is facing and the accused’s criminal record.
The consequences of being denied bail are serious for the accused and the family. The conditions of pre-trial custody are infamously bad for people facing criminal offence charges who are detained in custody after their bail hearing.
Remand centres, where accused are held pending a resolution to their criminal offence charges, are often overcrowded and understaffed, causing exceptionally poor quality of life for the detainee in custody. Due to the poor quality of life in custody, accused individuals may feel pressured to resolve their criminal offence charges prematurely, rather than wait months or even years for their trial.
Accused in custody pending their trial have a right to a presumption of innocence. Reasonable bail for the accused is constitutionally guaranteed and skilled criminal defence lawyers will be able to effectively advocate for this right.
A defence lawyer will remind the court that the default position for an accused person should be their unconditional release, and further that the accused should be released on the least restrictive conditions unless it is demonstrated by the Crown that it is necessary to deny them bail.