Bail Hearings / Bail Reviews
An arrested person has the right to be brought before a justice of the peace for a bail hearing within 24 hours of their arrest. Bail hearings are held when someone is in custody but not yet convicted of a crime. LZZ understands that the initial arrest and detention can be a traumatic experience and our lawyers are prepared to run a bail hearing as soon as possible.
When arrested, the police may decide to release the accused person from the police station. However, the law recognizes that the safety of the public and the proper functioning of the justice system may require an accused person to remain in custody and be brought before the court for a bail hearing. At a bail hearing, an accused person can either be released on bail, subject to certain binding conditions, or they will be ordered detained pending the completion of their criminal matter.
Pre-trial detention is unusual. LZZ appreciates the importance of a successful bail hearing and has conducted countless of successful bail hearings. The lawyers at LZZ will design a winning strategy to persuade the court to release the accused person.
If an accused person has been denied bail, there is a process by which the accused may seek a review of the decision. This process is called a bail review.
A bail review is an appeal of the bail hearing result that proceeds before the Superior Court of Justice. When seeking a bail review you must show the court that circumstances of the case have changed materially. For example: an entirely different and stronger bail plan, changes in the Crown’s case, or the passage of time. Or, that the justice of the peace or judge who presided over the initial bail hearing made an error of law.
It is important to remember that the Crown also has the right to seek a bail review if you were released at a bail hearing.
Bail Pending Appeal
Bail pending appeal is when a person is granted release from custody while his or her appeal is litigated before the Court of Appeal. If a person is seeking release on bail pending appeal, they must satisfy the court that three conditions are met:
- The Applicant must prove that the appeal is not frivolous, meaning that there is some arguable ground of appeal
- The Applicant must satisfy the Court that they will surrender into custody as required
- The Applicant must demonstrate that his or her release from custody is not contrary to the public interest
The first step in applying for a bail pending appeal is to file a notice of appeal as well as the supporting documents. Your lawyer will also file supporting materials for your bail pending appeal application. These materials usually include affidavits from the Applicant, the proposed sureties and a notice of application.
The criminal defence lawyers at LZZ have extensive experience conducting successful bail hearings, bail reviews and bail pending appeals. If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offence and is currently in jail call us at (416) 613-0416 or (416) 595-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Common Questions Regarding Bail Hearings
What is a bail hearing?
A bail hearing is when a judge or justice of the peace decides whether you should be kept in jail or released into the community pending the outcome of your criminal matter. A bail hearing happens after a person has been arrested and charged with a criminal offence. An accused person may be physically brought to bail court or may be brought virtually from either the police station or an institution via Zoom.
What do I do if I am not released during a bail hearing?
If you were not released during a bail hearing, you will be remanded in custody. If you are still at the police station, you will be transferred to an institution, if you have already been transferred to an institution. You will remain in custody until your charges are dealt with. You may be released before your charges are dealt with if you bring a bail review, and are successful.
Do I need money to get out on bail?
Not necessarily. Often, the court chooses to release an accused person on a promise to pay, meaning that no money is required to be deposited up front. The financial obligation is often dependent on the individual circumstances of the case before the court, there is no set cost or price for bail or certain criminal offences.
How do I prepare for a bail hearing?
There is not much preparation an accused person can do for their own bail hearing. An accused person does not often testify at their bail. However, if any preparation is required, your lawyer will contact you prior to the bail hearing to prepare. Typically, all of the preparation is between your lawyer and the proposed sureties.
What is a bail plan?
A bail plan is the plan that you present to the court in order to convince them that you should be released. The plan needs to be well thought out and address any supervisory concerns the court or Crown may have.
What are the different types of bail plans?
There are many different types of bail plans. Some factors that affect the type of plan you propose at your bail hearing will include the charges you are facing and your criminal record. Your lawyer will advise you what kind of plan will maximize your chances of release. Other elements that are often incorporated into bail plans are a curfew, house arrest or ankle monitor.
Examples of bail plans are:
- Own recognizance
- Bail program
- Surety bail
This plan involves being released from custody without a surety. In other words, you are responsible for supervising yourself.
Bail program is a supervision program that acts in the place of a surety. Bail program is often proposed as part of the bail plan when the accused person does not have anyone to act as a surety for them. However, not everyone is eligible for bail program. Prior to a bail hearing, bail program will interview you in order to confirm if you’re eligible for the program.
A surety is someone who promises the court that they will supervise you and be responsible for you while you are on bail. A surety also makes a financial promise to the court. If the person they are supervising doesn’t follow their conditions they could lose some or all of that money. There is no fixed financial pledge the surety is required to make. The amount varies and depends on the specific facts of the case.
Can I talk to a lawyer at LZZ if I have an upcoming bail hearing or if someone I know is going to have a bail hearing?
Yes, the lawyers at LZZ are always available to discuss an upcoming bail hearing, regardless if the bail hearing is for you or for someone you know. It is important to talk to a lawyer prior to conducting a bail hearing in order to maximize the likelihood of release.
What are my rights regarding a bail hearing?
As per s. 503 of the Criminal Code, an accused person has the right to be brought before bail court within 24 hours of their arrest. As outlined in section 11(e) of the Charter, an accused person also has the right to not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause.
What happens if I am released by the arresting officer and receive an appearance notice?
If you are released from the police station, the appearance notice you were given will have your next court date noted. It is important that you contact and retain a lawyer prior to your first court date. If you retain a lawyer, they will be able to appear on your behalf. However, if you do not have a lawyer before your first court date, you will be required to attend your court appearance.
What happens if I’m arrested while I’m already on bail?
You will be charged with the criminal offence of failure to comply and brought before a bail court for another bail hearing.
Does my surety have to appear in person for my bail hearing?
It depends on the jurisdiction of your bail hearing. Currently, most bail hearings are proceeding via Zoom for the time being. However, your lawyer will advise you if your surety is required to attend in person.