What is the definition of a Bail Hearing?
- a bail hearing is a procedure where a judge decides whether or not to release an individual into the community during the time between their arrest and the final decision regarding their case
- a bail hearing can take place before a judge or a justice of the peace
When can a bail hearing take place?
- a bail hearing can happen at several points in an individual’s journey through the justice system, but typically happens either:
- as soon as possible after arrest, or
- can be scheduled if the individual is in custody
What happens during a bail hearing?
- the Crown will announce its position to the court, and will specify the grounds on which it seeks detention
- the Crown will then call witnesses, and/or read in the police background about the client, and/or read in the synopsis of the allegations as provided by police
- the defence asks questions
- the sureties are examined and cross-examined
- the party that bears the onus makes submissions firms
- the judge or JP comes to a decision
What are primary, secondary, and tertiary grounds?
- theres are the grounds on which the Crown argues to keep the individual in custody until his or her trial
- primary: risk that the individual will flee the jurisdiction or not attend court dates when they need to
- secondary: significant likelihood of reoffence
- tertiary: detention in the interest of ensuring the public’s confidence in the administration of justice
- only to be used in severe circumstances
What is a reverse onus bail hearing?
- in a regular bail hearing, the Crown has the onus of proving why the individual arrested should be detained, but in a reverse onus bail hearing,the individual must prove whether should be released
Is release guaranteed when an individual has a bail hearing?
- no, release can be denied, but only if there is just cause
What is a recognizance?
- a recognizance is a form used by the courts that sets out the conditions of an individual’s bail, and his or her dates of return
- can includes such provisions as:
- keep the peace and be of good behaviour
- abstaining from drugs and alcohol
- prohibitions on associating with certain people or being in certain locations
Why is it important to have private counsel?
- can offer personalized service
- perhaps know the client from before