American Citizen Arrested In Canada, What Now?

June 14, 2022

If you are an American citizen arrested in Canada, it is important to seek legal help from a qualified criminal lawyer. The laws and procedures in Canada can be very different from those in the United States, so it is crucial to have an experienced attorney on your side who understands how to navigate the Canadian legal system. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you may need someone who can defends your rights on your behalf.

What happens when an American citizen is arrested while visiting Canada?

The criminal justice system in Canada has similarities to the American system. Yet, there are a few notable differences that a tourist should know.  This post will focus on bail hearings and what you need to know if you or an American Citizen is arrested in Canada.
A smart first step would be to call a trusted and experienced
Criminal Lawyer in Toronto to assist you.

After an arrest, the next step is usually to release from the police station or receiving bail from the court. But this is not a guarantee, especially if you are not ordinarily a Canada citizen. Police are often required to hold American citizens for a bail hearing and have a Justice of the Peace release them from Court.

American arrested in Canada
American Arrested in Canada

Bail Considerations – For Americans Arrested in Canada

The primary concern if you’re a visitor to Canada is whether you will attend court and show up for your trial. Also, when considering granting bail, the court will balance factors such as:

  • The protection and safety of the public
  • The age, employment and education of the accused
  • The seriousness of the allegations and charges
  • The jeopardy faced by the accused
  • The likelihood of the accused committing further crimes while on bail
  • Whether the accused will interfere with the victims or the evidence
  • The expected public reaction that the public will have if the accused is released

Depending on the nature of the charges and allegations a surety might be required. A surety is a person that promises to supervise an accused person while they are on bail.

When considering granting a release, the court needs to understand:

  • The seriousness of the allegations
  • The precise plan of release
  • Who the proposed sureties are (if required).

These are the issues that are addressed at a bail hearing. You will want an experienced bail lawyer to assist you and your sureties in preparing for a bail hearing.

Also, its recommended that any bail included terms that direct the accused person to “attend court in person” in Canada as required. Often American citizens are released on bail and return home to await trial or resolution of the criminal charges. When they attempt to re-enter Canada to attend Court they are often stopped and experience difficulties entering the country by Canada Border Services Agency. A term in their bail directing to attend in person could avoid some of these problems at the border when dealing with members of the Canada Border Services Agency.

American arrested in Toronto
American Arrested in Toronto

Cash Deposit For Bail Required for Americans visiting Canada

If you are an American visiting Canada and get arrested, you will need to post a cash bail deposit in order to be released from custody. The amount of the bail required will vary depending on the severity of the charge, but can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

That cash deposit will need to be made at the Courthouse to ensure the accused person is released from custody. That deposit is required before the release. Also, of note, once the money is deposited with the Court that money under law is legally considered the accused person’s funds. When the criminal charges have been disposed of the funds will be released to the accused person only unless they sign a direction authorizing the funds are released to another party.
Finally, before granting a release, the court will also consider the appropriate bail conditions to ensure the public’s safety and reducing the risk of the accused committing further crimes while on release.

Call Toronto Criminal Lawyer – William Jaksa

Get in touch with a Toronto criminal lawyer with bail hearing experience. Contact William Jaksa today!

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