If you are facing bail conditions, it is critical that you abide by them and not make any unilateral decisions. This can have a detrimental impact not only on your liberty, but also on how your case unfolds. For variation in your conditions, a process of change of bail conditions must be completed. Your conditions must be changed through the courts. You can hire a criminal defence lawyer from Aitken Robertson to work with the Crown to persuade him or her as to why your bail condition(s) should be changed.
If you disobey any of your bail conditions, no matter how legitimate you think your decision is, you will be criminally charged and likely held in custody for yet another bail hearing. The factors in this scenario will not be in your favour. It will not be worth the damage you will cause. Thus, you must ensure that you go through the proper channels to change your bail condition(s).
How to Change Bail Conditions
Released at a Police Station
When released at a police station by a police officer, you may have been given conditions through a form referred to as an Undertaking. If this is the type of release legal document you have, then you can apply to the court under section 499 of the Criminal Code of Canada requesting that the justice replace your conditions. Under this section, a request for variation can be made before your court appearance. The Crown does not need to be notified. Notwithstanding, it is better that you or your criminal defence lawyer speak with the Crown ahead of time as the Crown may just grant consent to the variation.
For the Crown to consent to the variation, the Crown will review the disclosure and if there is a complainant/victim in the case, then that person’s input will be sought as well. Where the Crown decides not to agree to the variation of condition(s), the matter would then be considered “contested”. This means that a hearing would need to occur before a justice of the peace for the court to make a decision as to whether the change should take place.
Released After a Bail Hearing
When released after a bail hearing, by a justice of the peace or a judge, you will need to request a change in conditions with the consent of the Crown. Where the Crown disagrees to your proposed change of conditions, once again as mentioned above, this will require a contested hearing where you and the Crown both present your reasons to the judge to make the decision. In such a scenario, it is best you hire one of our criminal defence lawyers as they are in the best position to persuade the judge as to why your desire to change a condition or more than one condition is justified. Your lawyer will make the proper legal requirements to increase the possibility of having the proposed condition(s) be granted. Of note is that a transcript of the bail hearing would likely need to be ordered for the hearing before the judge.
Finally, where a Crown does not agree to any bail variation, you have the option to make an application to the Superior Court of Justice for what is referred to as a “Bail Review”. This will give the judge the opportunity to review the bail conditions imposed on you in the first place and make a judgement on your request for a bail variation.
The Aitken Robertson Team
If you have any additional questions or would like for us to elaborate on this topic, then give us a call and schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers. You’ll be glad you did so!