Ottawa Lawyer:  My Bail Conditions Are Too Strict!

Ottawa Lawyer: My Bail Conditions Are Too Strict!

If you have been released on bail, you may have bail conditions to obey while you are released.  These conditions will be printed on the papers the police gave you when you were released from the police station or detention centre.  You should study these conditions and have them on your person at all times.

To avoid being charged with a breach of your bail conditions (which is another criminal charge), you must obey the conditions.  If you have sureties, it is their job to make sure you obey your conditions.  They could lose their posted bail if you don’t obey your conditions.

So what happens if you have a legitimate reason why you cannot readily obey your conditions?  For example, you may have a curfew that requires you to be home by 8 pm but your shift at work ends at 8:30.  If you keep your condition, you will lose your job.  There is a solution in most cases which is to get a bail variation.

Your criminal defence lawyer can try to get you a bail variation when you have a good reason to vary the bail.   Often this can be obtained on the consent of the Crown, depending on the reason for the variation and the nature of the variation.  Sometimes, a bail variation is contested.  A contested variation will require argument before the court and a decision by a judge or a justice of the peace.

In either situation, the variation will certainly take days and may take a few weeks.  As a result, it is very important that you do not leave it to the last minute.  Your criminal lawyer needs some lead time to get a bail variation done.  In the meantime, recall that breaching your conditions could result in additional charges and will almost certainly ensure that your criminal charges will be harder to resolve favorably.

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