After an arrest, being released on a reasonable bail is extremely important and can ultimately impact how your case unfolds. Remaining in custody until your trial not only affects how your case is heard but has severe implications on your personal life and relationships. Being released on a reasonable bail will ensure you continue to work, pay bills, see your family and prepare your case.
In this article, a Toronto based criminal defence lawyer discusses how to bail someone out after an arrest.
What Happens When Someone Is Arrested?
Not everyone that is arrested is held and brought to bail court. When a police officer arrests someone they have some discretion on what charges to lay and whether to release them immediately or bring them to the police station to formally lay the charges. Depending on the allegations and the circumstances of the accused person, the officer can release the person on a “promise to appear” and with or without conditions. However, if there is reason to believe that the offender presents a risk to the community, will continue committing offences, that they may flee the province, or will not attend court then officers may choose to bring the accused person before a Justice of the Peace and have a show cause hearing (a bail hearing).
If you are charged with criminal offences you have the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay. So upon being arrested and detained you should ask to speak with a defence lawyer as soon as possible. The lawyer can help you prepare for your bail hearing, as well as contact potential sureties and family members.
Bailing someone out after an arrest is not as simple as showing up at the police station or courthouse with your credit card. A surety must take an oath and promise the Court that they will be responsible for supervising the accused person and ensuring that they obey their conditions of release and attend court as required.
In most instances, the best surety is a family member and for young offenders, it is almost always a parent. The surety will need to meet the minimum requirements to be eligible, generally including factors like having no criminal record and being able to provide adequate supervision.
Since most bail hearings happen the day after the arrest, you need to act fast if you want to bail someone out. If a criminal defence lawyer has not already been hired, it’s worth bringing one on as soon as possible. They can help you develop a release plan and prepare for the bail hearing.
The Bail Hearing
Everyone has the right not to be denied bail without just cause. Meaning that bail is not guaranteed, and you will only be denied bail if there is a good reason to believe that there is a risk to granting you a release. The bail hearing determines whether or not a release will be granted and what the bail conditions will be if granted.
The most common reasons to deny bail in Toronto are:
- 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
As well, the Justice needs to be convinced that the surety is capable of providing the required supervision and that the release plan is sufficient to mitigate risks.
If bail is denied, a bail lawyer may be able to request a bail review. However, a bail review requires that either a legal error was made or that there is a significant change in circumstance from the initial hearing.
Hire A Toronto Bail Hearing Lawyer
If you are seeking to bail someone out after an arrest, your best chance is to hire a lawyer familiar with bail hearings. They can help you prepare a release plan and understand the charges and their implications.
Contact William Jaksa for a consultation.