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Your Guide to Bail in Canada

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After facing an arrest and a charge for a Canadian crime, you are arraigned in court. The law allows you to be released from custody on bail pending their trial depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.

In Canada, bail is a form of temporary release from jail, allowing you to return to your normal life until your trial. The federal and provincial legislations provide bail rules. After arraignment, the first step in obtaining bail is to petition for a bail hearing. In the hearing, the court decides whether you should be released pending the trial.

What Bail Means in Toronto, Canada

Bail is a mechanism the law enforcement or courts use to release suspects from custody and ensure that they return for future court proceedings. Bail is not a penalty or a form of social control, and there are no sentencing consequences if the defendant fails to appear in court.

In some cases, bail may be denied because of your previous criminal convictions or because you are a threat to the public’s safety. In such circumstances, you are held until trial without being offered bail or have your bail increased significantly.

Many people denied bail in Canada plead guilty in order to get out of jail, even though the Crown attorney’s case against them would be difficult to prove. Having to remain in custody for several months or years until your trial can have a negative impact on your life and future. Your career or education will be halted, and meeting with your lawyer and building your defense will be a challenge and costly.

This is why bail is important in Canada when facing a criminal charge, and why you should consult a Toronto criminal lawyer to help you petition for a bail hearing.

The Process of Obtaining Bail in Canada

According to section 11(e) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canada residents have the right to bail and not to be denie without a justifiable reason. When combined with the presumption of innocence until the accused pleads guilty or is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt under section 11(d) of the Charter, bail is supposed to be the norm and detention the exception.

If police suspect you of committing a crime, they arrest you regardless of whether a warrant for arrest in Canada has been issued against you. Depending on the gravity of the crime, the police can:

  • Release you immediately with a summons to appear in court at a specific date and time.
  • Hold you temporarily before releasing you.
  • Keep you in custody, usually in a jail cell at the police station or the courthouse.

If the police do not release you, they must either bring you or video link you to a court for a bail hearing within 24 hours of their arrest.

Prior to the hearing, a Crown prosecutor reviews your file and decides whether to release you on bail or convince the judge that you should remain in custody. A summary of the facts of the case prepared by the arresting officer(s) and your criminal record are included in your file.

A Crown attorney considers the following factors when deciding whether to consent to or oppose bail:

  • The nature and type of charge.
  • Possibility of endangering society or plaintiff.
  • The likelihood that you will appear for court proceedings.
  • Previous criminal record.
  • The likelihood that if you are released, you will commit another crime.

What is a Surety

A surety is a form of insurance. It is a contract between a surety and the obligee, which states that the obligee will be compensated if the obligor fails to fulfill their obligation.

A surety is also known as an “arranger” or “guarantor”. The person who provides this service for an individual, company or organization is called a “surety company”, or just “surety”. A surety’s main responsibility is to make sure that someone else fulfills their obligations.

The surety also agrees to pay the court a sum of money if the accused violates their bail order. To be a surety, one must:

  • Know you well.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a Landed Immigrant.
  • Be not involved in the case.
  • Own property like a house, car, or financial investments.

What Happens If You Violate Your Release Conditions?

If you violate your release conditions, you may be sent back to prison to serve the balance of your sentence. If you were released on a long-term supervision order, violated a release condition, and were not arrested or charged with a new offence, the police will contact your parole officer. The parole officer will then review the incident and determine what steps to take. If you are arrested or charged with a new offence while on release, it is likely that you will be sentenced as if you had never been released and sent back to prison.

Staying in jail an arrest could jeopardize many aspects in life like you job, business, and loved ones. Fortunately for you, Canada law allows defendants to walk out of jailon bail pending trial. To expedite the bail process hire a criminal defense attorney when you learn of your charges.

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