Justice Process Bail
If an accused is taken into custody and held for court, the Crown can object to allowing the accused to be released. In this case, the accused will be brought before a judge within 24 hours or as soon as possible for a bail hearing.
What happens at a bail hearing?
- The Crown prosecutor will explain to the judge why the accused should stay in jail or why there should be special rules the accused should follow if the accused is allowed to be released.
- The defence counsel may explain to the judge why the accused person should be released.
- The judge will make the decision to release the accused person or keep the accused in jail.
When will the judge keep someone in jail?
- If the accused is a danger to any victim or witness to the offence
- Or if the accused might not show up for court.
What happens if the accused is released?
There may be conditions (special rules) that the accused person must follow. These conditions are called bail orders and could include:
- not having any contact with certain people (this includes letters and phone calls even through friends)
- staying in town
- staying away from a certain place or area, like a shopping mall or the home address, school or place of employment of the complainant
- agreeing that he/she or someone else will pay money into court if the accused does not show up at the next court hearing
- if the alleged offence involved violence, a weapon or a criminal harassment the judge must also add a condition prohibiting the accused from possessing a weapon
What does the victim need to know?
In some cases, it is important for the victim to know what conditions the accused must follow:
- victims can get information about the specific conditions that the accused must obey
- victims can ask for a copy of the bail conditions from the police or Victim Services
- if the victim or anyone learns that an accused is breaking any of the orders, the police should be told
What happens if the accused does not obey the bail conditions?
The accused may:
- be charged with another offence
- be arrested and held in custody until the trial
- be released on new, more restrictive conditions