A bail hearing is arguably the single most important step in criminal proceedings. An accused’s right to bail is protected under section 11(e) of the Charter, and bail should only be withheld where it is necessary.
When the accused is denied bail, the decision may have a negative impact on the accused’s ability to make full answer and defence, on the outcome of the trial, and on the meaningful exercise of other protected rights under the Charter. Furthermore, “dead time is real time” for the accused in our justice system. The difficult conditions faced by accused persons awaiting trial in remand facilities may be considered a “circumstance” justifying enhanced credit if the person is eventually convicted.
If you need an experienced lawyer to represent you at your bail hearing, special bail hearing, reverse onus bail hearing, bail review, or bail pending appeal, call us at (416) 613-0416 or (416) 595-9500 or contact us at email@example.com for a consultation.
What Evidence is Heard During a Bail Hearing?
In most bail hearings, the Crown will read in a synopsis of the allegations and the accused’s criminal record. The defence will lead background information about the sureties and the accused to support their release plan.
In some cases, the Crown may lead further evidence at a bail hearing. Any evidence if it is credible and trustworthy can be lead at a bail hearing. For example, the Crown may lead a police witness statement of the complainant if it is video recorded and under oath. The Crown may also call a police officer to testify about different aspects of the investigation. Another example arises when your arrest is the result of a wiretap investigation. The Crown may play intercepts to show the seriousness of the charges, but also, to help outline the strength of the Crown’s case against you.
Can I Lead Evidence at a Bail Hearing?
Yes, any evidence that meets the “credible and trustworthy” threshold can be presented at a bail hearing. In an identification case, if the complainant or a witness provided a description that is inconsistent with your physical appearance, you may want to lead this at your bail hearing to show that the Crown’s case has substantial weaknesses.