Bail refers to the temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial. A Canadian charged with an offence has the right to bail. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees this right. In case of a less serious offence, the police may release the accused without the need for bail. If you have been charged with a crime of serious nature or when the police aren’t of the opinion that you should be released, you have the right to a bail hearing.
The bail hearing
When it comes to criminal law, your rights may differ depending on the jurisdiction you have been charged in. This is why it’s important to consult an experienced criminal lawyer to know your rights. During a bail hearing, the Crown will come up with the arguments emphasizing why you shouldn’t get bail. The criminal record of the accused, testimony by witnesses and the details of allegations can play a decisive role in this regard. It’s dependant on how well your criminal lawyer defends you against the accusations brought forth against you, which will determine the outcome of your bail hearing.
The bail hearing process doesn’t determine whether the allegations are true or not, it determines whether or not the accused should be released temporarily into the community, and what will be the terms and conditions if bail is granted.
The final decision about your release is made by the Justice of the Peace. The Crown prosecutor and your lawyer are given the opportunity to speak. In some cases, both parties can agree that the accused should get bail. Again, it depends on the nature of the crime. No matter your situation, a good lawyer can help you in many ways and it’s advisable to get a dependable legal presentation whether you need bail or need someone to effectively defend your case.
The role of Justice of the Peace
Public safety, future court appearances, and other considerations help the Justice of the Peace to grant or reject bail. If your lawyer can successfully convey that you will appear in your future court appearances and that there will be no public safety concerns, you’re likely to get bail. The release of the accused is followed by the next court date to appear and some other conditions. When you get bail, you must follow the conditions set by the court while waiting for your trial. If you fail to fulfill the terms and conditions of your bail, you may be charged with additional offences which will further worsen your situation.
You can be released on “cash” or “no cash” bail. In case of cash bail, you will be posting money upfront in order to be released. You’ll get this money back if you follow everything mentioned in the release conditions. On the other hand, breaching your bail conditions will get you in more trouble. It is also possible to get bail with a surety, which means someone in your community promises to supervise you.
It’s important that you preserve your rights, be it bail or the right to legal assistance in case you’re facing criminal charges. If you’re in Alberta, talk to Slaferek Law, a competent team of Edmonton’s criminal defence lawyers. Contact us for more information!