Prior to arrest, if you are not released from the police station, you will be held for a bail hearing. At a bail hearing in Ontario, a court will decide whether you should be released into the community while you wait for your trial, or whether you should remain in jail. At this time, it is you may need to consider advising a criminal defence lawyer that has experience at bail hearings to determine your options.
A criminal defence lawyer can effectively prepare you for a bail hearing in Ontario. It is important to note that in Canadian courts you are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and therefore your bail hearing is not a time for the court to judge your case. It’s simply a time when the Judge will review the following questions:
- Will you come to court?
- Are you a risk to the community?
- Will you continue to get into legal trouble while you are awaiting your trial?
- Will the community be offended or shocked if you were to be released?
Based on the answers to these questions, a Judge will come to a decision regarding your release.
During this process, it would be helpful if your family members could assist you as you may want to ask them to sign your bail. Signing your bail bond does not mean that they will have to give money to the Court, but rather that they will sign for the amount of money and secure the money should you not comply with the bail conditions. The amount of money will vary with each case. Your criminal defence lawyer will be able to explain this process to you and your family.