Bail Hearings - Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman

Bail hearings are not designed to determine one’s guilt or innocence, but rather to determine if the accused should be released while he or she awaits trial. There are a number of factors that must be carefully weighed in this decision, not the least of which is whether or not the person is a flight risk, or perhaps a danger to himself or other people.

What To Expect At a Bail Hearing

By law, bail hearings must be held within 24 hours of a person being arrested. Crown prosecutors will present their case for why the person accused should not be granted bail. The accused has the right to be represented by a bail lawyer. The Crown may present some evidence at the bail hearing that will also be used as evidence at the trial. The Crown is not permitted to question the accused about the charges against him, but other witnesses may be asked to testify about the circumstances surrounding the offence.

Ultimately, the court will decide that either the accused should be allowed to post bail, or that he or she should be returned to custody until his or her case comes to trial.

Considerations Involved in Bail Hearings

The court’s goals are to make sure that the accused actually shows up for the trial, and to provide for the protection of the public. The court may consider the nature of the crime (for example, whether the charges are so serious or the crime so heinous that any form of release is questionable). Another important factor is whether the defendant has been in trouble with the law before. If the defendant has other pending charges against him or her, or has a prior criminal record, that will generally weigh against granting bail.

Flight risk is a major consideration at bail hearings; the court will try to determine whether the accused will use the opportunity of bail to flee the province or the country. Other relevant factors considered may include the defendant’s residence, employment, marital status and family issues. Character witnesses may be presented to speak to some of these issues.

Conditions of Bail

If bail is granted, it will usually come with a number of conditions. Generally, the accused will be forbidden to contact others involved in the crime (for example, the complainant or victim, witnesses, or other accused parties), either in person, or through mail, phone, text, e-mail, or any other forms of communication. Sometimes, the accused will be ordered to stay a set distance away from certain specified addresses or locations. Often, the accused must abide by behavioral conditions, such as not using alcohol and obeying a specified curfew. In many cases, the accused must keep their residence at a specific address, surrender his or her passport, and report regularly to a police station or parole officer. He or she may be required to attend counseling or treatment. Failure to comply with on any one of these conditions of bail may be grounds for having bail revoked.

Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman: Criminal Defence Lawyers On Your Side

The Law Firm of Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman is committed to providing the highest standards of legal defence for individuals and corporations charged with criminal offences. This formidable team of lawyers has decades of combined experience in all areas of criminal law, including conducting trials and arguing cases at all levels of court in Ontario as well as before the Supreme Court of Canada. They also provide legal assistance to other lawyers and firms in a variety of legal areas, such as immigration or family law, when those matters cross the line into the criminal arena.

The firm has established a reputation within the Ontario court system for its commitment to justice and unwavering dedication to professionalism. For a free initial telephone consultation, contact Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman at 5000 Yonge St, Suite 1708, Toronto ON M2N 7E9, or by calling (416) 365-3151.