Once arrested and charged for a criminal offence in Toronto, depending on the nature of the allegations police will either release the accused or hold them for a bail hearing, or more formally called show cause hearings. Bail allows people to continue with their daily activities in the community and not in jail until their matters before the courts resolve.
Its important to hire a lawyer with experience in conducting hearings. Being denied bail could result in remaining in custody until the charges before the court are resolved, which could be several years. Remaining in custody will impact on both personal and professional relationships. For some it could mean no contact with children, for others it could result in real financial hardships.
An experienced bail lawyer will ensure that you have an acceptable supervision plan to present to the court and that potential sureties understand and are prepared for the bail hearing process.
Although Ontario has launched new directives to make the bail process faster and fairer, there is no guarantee of being released on bail.
Reasons for Bail Being Denied
There are three general grounds upon which the Crown will seek to deny an accused bail. In broad terms, some of the reasons for being denied bail include:
- Flight risks – no substantial ties to the community
- A real risk that the accused will fail to attend court again
- A substantial danger or risk to the public
- There is a real potential that the accused will continue to break the law
- There is a real potential that the accused will interfere with witnesses
- An overwhelmingly strong Crown case where there is a potential for serious jail time
- The allegations are of such a nature that the public would be offended if the accused is released
Danger or Risk to the Public
If the accused is considered potentially violent, or likely to commit more crimes before trial they will likely be denied bail. Bail is intended to protect the rights of the accused, but not at the expense of public safety. The Crown will use protection of the victim or potential for interfering with or intimidating witnesses as grounds to request that the court deny bail.
Likelihood That the Accused Will Show up for Trial
If an accused person has a history of failing to attend court or perhaps has no strong ties to the community the Crown may request the presiding justice denied bail.
Strength of the Crown’s Case
Depending on the nature of the allegations and potential for lengthy jail sentences the court will consider detaining an accused person because the Crown’s case is overwhelmingly strong.
There is no right in Canada for a person to be granted bail. The court must weigh the risks in every case. It’s unfortunate that people are denied bail at times on very minor charges because of their risk factors.
If denied bail at the initial show cause hearing, there may exist a possibility for a bail review. A bail review is a chance to review the initial decision – an appeal of sorts. A bail review should be undertaken with careful preparation.
To be granted the opportunity for a bail review, the accused person must first prove one of the follow two conditions exit:
- There has been a significant change in circumstances, which may included such things as a new improved release plan or change in the allegations; or
- That there was a legal error made during the bail hearing or the presiding justice made a legal error in their reasons for denying bail.
Denied Bail in Toronto? Hire a Bail Hearing Lawyer
The criminal justice moves very slowly, years can pass between the arrest and the trial. An experienced Toronto bail hearing lawyer can ensure that your rights protected during the bail hearing process and that you are not denied bail without just cause.
Toronto criminal defence lawyer, William Jaksa, has experience helping clients secure releases in some of the most difficult cases. Contact us today for assistance with your bail hearing or bail review.