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Looking for Legal Representation for a Bail Hearing – What Do I Need to Do?

If someone you know has been charged with a criminal offence and is in custody, then he or she will be afforded a bail hearing within 24 hours. If you are looking for legal representation for a bail hearing, then you have come to the right place. Our criminal defence lawyers have the requisite knowledge, skills and most importantly experience to run bail hearings.

Below are the steps to expect to take to have Legal Representation for a Bail Hearing:

STEP 1

Call our office for a free 30-minute legal consultation. One of our criminal defence lawyers will speak to you about the matter and provide you with a legal opinion as to the chances of bail. Further, our office will explain to you the process that will unfold and how we are able to assist. We also provide you with our legal fees, which we charge on a flat fee basis. This means that you know precisely what your legal services will cost before you commit to legal representation.

STEP 2

Step 2 depends on if our firm is legally retained for the bail hearing. If so, then we meet with you on the day of the bail hearing to discuss the accused and the over all case. If it is our opinion that a surety is required, we discuss the potential available sureties for the accused. A surety is a person who attends court and promises a judge or a justice of the peace that he or she will supervise the accused person while they are out on bail. The surety also pledges or promises an amount of money to the court that he or she will pay if the accused breaches his bail conditions.

STEP 3

We meet with the accused on the day of the bail hearing. We ask a set of questions in preparation for our submissions. If a surety is required and has attended, then we meet with the surety and ask him or her questions as well to confirm that he or she meets the minimum requirements. We ensure that the surety understands their role and obligations that come from agreeing to be a surety. We also prepare the surety for the cross-examination by the Crown. Now, if the surety is unable to make it, then we are able to adjourn the bail hearing for a day or up to three days.

One of the most important aspects of a bail hearing is being properly prepared which includes a well thought out supervision plan, an informed and knowledgeable lawyer, a reasonable amount of money or assets that can be pledged as collateral for an accused’s release and a respectful attitude towards the proceedings. Once we are confident that we have a reliable surety, step 3 is completed.

Refer to the bottom of this blog for more information on sureties.

STEP 4

If we are ready to go with the surety, or if there is no surety and we have completed our interview with the accused, we enter the courtroom and wait to be called for the bail hearing.

STEP 5

We conduct the bail hearing.

STEP 6

We speak with you respecting the results and explain the next steps. If the accused is denied bail, then he or she will remain in custody until the next court date and likely until the resolution of the case. That is, whether the accused pleads guilty, takes the matter to trial or is able to resolve the matter by alternative measures.

There is an option to appeal a denied bail; this is referred to as a “Bail Review”. This decision to pursue this route depends on a number of circumstances. We would provide you with our legal opinion as to the chances of succeeding at a bail review.

If the accused is granted bail, then, on a lighter note, well we could first congratulate you and the accused for making it out of custody. Thereafter, we inform you and the accused of what process is to unfold and your responsibilities going forward. We provide you with important information and answer all of your questions.

Once the bail hearing is completed, if we are not retained for the entire matter, then our legal services end at this point.

More Information on Sureties

A surety has roles and responsibilities when or she proposes to be a surety to the court. There are minimum requirements a surety must have. More specifically, a surety should:

  • not have a criminal record;
  • be over the age of 21;
  • understand his or her role as a surety;
  • be prepared to inform the court when the accused is breaching his or her bail conditions;
  • have an ability to supervise the accused properly;
  • be willing to promise an amount of money that they could lose if the accused breached his bail;
  • have the capacity to understand and enforce the conditions the Court; and
  • attend court on the day of the bail hearing in a punctual manner.

Final Commentary

Bail is an extremely important part of criminal proceedings and must be treated with as much seriousness as the trial itself. If a person is not granted bail, they may have to wait many months until trial before being released or at a minimum several days or weeks before the detention order is appealed. Having the assistance of a criminal defence lawyer will greatly increase the chances of a person being released either on the accused’s own recognizance or into the care of the proposed surety(s). Call our office for more information on bail hearings and how to properly approach the release of an accused.

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Yasmine Al-Zaman

Yasmine’s patience, compassion and understanding allow her to work collaboratively and effectively with her clients. She appreciates the level of fear and confusion most people feel when confronted with the legal system. With that in mind, Yasmine puts her best foot forward to offer quality legal services.

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