IMPORTANT: Please note the below information is worded for an overall, and general understanding of legal circumstances and considerations, it is NOT to be taken as legal advice applicable to any specific circumstance and it is NOT to be relied upon in individual cases and interactions with the criminal justice system. Please call or book an appointment for advice to your unique circumstances.
When you are detained and not released by the police upon your arrest, your bail hearing is the most important day in court.
Here is how a bail hearing works:
1. The Crown presents the allegations by reading out what was found in the police synopsis. Sometimes the Crown will present the allegations by calling a witness or witnesses to testify in court. The witness is usually a police officer in charge of the investigation.
2. After the Crown has presented the allegations, your lawyer or if you don’t have a lawyer, the duty counsel will have a chance to present the evidence by having you or the potential surety (a person who will pledges a certain amount of money for your release) testify. Sometimes, there will be more than one potential surety called as a witness. Your lawyer or the duty counsel will try to convince the court that, if you are released on bail, you will obey your bail conditions, either on your own or with the assistance of a surety (or sureties) to supervise you.
3. After both sides have finished giving their evidence, they make arguments to the judge or justice of the peace. The judge or justice of the peace then decides to either release you on bail or keep you in jail while they wait for your trial (which will likely be months away) or some other result (such as a guilty plea or a withdrawal of their charges) such as applying for an appeal of the bail decision to the Superior Court.