At a bail hearing, the court decides whether to keep the accused in custody or allow him freedom until the trial or plea hearing. If the court denies bail, the individual must remain incarcerated until the case is concluded – whenever that may be. Because the wait between arrest and trial can take months, being denied bail has serious consequences. Staying behind bars for weeks on end can result in job loss and a damaged reputation. It can also hamper an individual’s ability to build an effective defence in his case. Gaining your freedom in the short-term can help guarantee your freedom over the long haul. Because making bail is so critical to your defence and the rest of your life, it is important to work with experienced lawyers who are “on call” when you need them.
Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, individuals accused of a crime cannot be denied reasonable bail without just cause. Additionally, the bail amount must be within the financial means of either the accused or the “surety.” Unlike other jurisdictions, such as the United States, there are no bail bondsmen in Canada. Instead, the law requires a surety to pledge to act as the accused’s “community jailer” or glorified babysitter. Many times, this is a parent, friend, or spouse. The surety must appear in court on the day of the bail hearing and prove that he is financially capable of paying the bail amount if the accused breaks the terms of the bail. Although the surety is usually not required to actually deposit money, he will become liable for the full amount if the accused violates the bail conditions. A lawyer well-versed in the criminal justice system can help you understand what to expect from the bail process and how to choose a surety.
At a bail hearing, both the Crown and the accused are permitted to present evidence. The prosecutor begins by presenting the criminal allegations to the court. In many cases, the Crown relies on the police synopsis for details regarding the criminal acts in question. The Crown can also call witnesses to provide personal testimony.
Next, the accused has a chance to convince the court that, if released, he will abide by the bail conditions. Individuals accused of a crime have the right to submit evidence and call their own witnesses. Additionally, they can testify in their own defence. Your criminal defence lawyer will assist you in building an effective bail hearing strategy designed to achieve the most favorable results.
The legal team of Hobson & Reeve, Barristers has over 60 years of collective criminal law experience. Our lawyers have worked hard to establish themselves as formidable litigators in court as well as efficient negotiators on matters such as plea bargains. Both David Hobson and Dennis Reeve have served as Crown Prosecutors; this experience gives them invaluable insight into each case’s unique strengths and weaknesses and helps them choose the best strategies for protecting their clients. They are dedicated to impeccable preparation, fierce yet professional advocacy, and providing the best possible defence for each client. Hobson & Reeve look forward to bringing their decades of legal experience to your case, protecting your rights, and providing the advice and representation you need. If you’ve been charged with assault, call them at 866.619.9646 for a free initial consultation.