What Is A Surety?

A surety is a person that knows the accused personally, is a friend or family member, who agrees to supervise the accused when they are released on bail.  The surety must present themselves at court and tell the court that they will be responsible for supervising the accused individual.  The role of the surety is to make sure that the accused complies with all of the conditions of their release.  They also ensure that the accused stays out of trouble while awaiting trial.

A surety plays an important role during the period in which an individual is released on bail.  The job of surety is not to be taken lightly, but should be regarded as important and serious.  The primary duties of a surety include making sure the accused attends their court dates and ensuring that the individual complies with all of their bail conditions.  Sureties are often required to provide a monetary amount for the release of an individual.  Sometimes the court requires a cash deposit, but most often a surety will sign a bond for a certain amount.

A surety should be someone who knows the accused well and is confident that they can adequately supervise the individual.  It is important that the surety maintain a close relationship involving frequent updates and visits with the accused to ensure that bail conditions and court dates are being met and attended.  If you are in a situation where you require a surety in order to be released on bail, you will likely discuss possible sureties with your lawyer.  In the end, the court will decide if a particular person will be able to act as a surety.  The court will take into account the details of the case, including the nature of the charges and the accused person’s criminal record.  The court will also consider the potential surety’s character and background, as well as their financial situation and the amount of time they have available to supervise the accused.

If you are wondering if you might be eligible for bail or how the process of getting a surety works, contact the lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth to obtain the legal advice you are looking for.

How Do I Know What My Bail Conditions Will Be?

Before the bail conditions are proposed in court, and before you are in a position to formally agree to anything, you will go over them with your lawyer.  The criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth make sure to thoroughly review the bail conditions with every client so that they understand what is being proposed and what they will be agreeing to.  It is important to know and understand the bail conditions that the Crown attorney has proposed.  This way, you will not be surprised when they are presented in court and you will understand what the Crown is proposing.

Once the Crown presents the bail conditions as they see fit, we will negotiate the most favourable conditions possible.  This negotiation between the Crown and the defence lawyers is important as it seeks to strike a balance between what the Crown thinks is appropriate and respecting your individual rights and freedoms.  The result is hopefully one that everyone agrees is fair and reasonable.  The lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth will work hard to ensure that your bail conditions are appropriate, fair and allow you as much freedom as possible.

Once the bail conditions are accepted in court, you will receive a document that outlines your bail conditions in detail.  This way, you will always know what your conditions are.  If you are ever unsure or forget certain conditions, you can refer to this document.  You should carry this document at all times.  It is important to follow all of the bail conditions and this document will make it easier for you to do so.

As you can see, the process by which bail conditions are proposed, negotiated and accepted, allows for your involvement and understanding prior to anything becoming legally binding.  You will be privy to the proposed bail conditions before having to accept them in court.  A good criminal defence lawyer will be sure to review all of the conditions with you.  In doing so, you will be able to comply with your conditions because you will have had the opportunity to discuss them with your lawyer and ensure that you understand them.  Adhering to all of your bail conditions is one way that you can increase your chances of achieving a successful outcome for your case.

Can I Get My Bail Conditions Changed?

Although bail conditions are serious and must be strictly obeyed, it is possible to have them changed. We have had many clients where we have been successful in getting bail conditions changed and it is possible that this could happen in your case.

The first thing to do in the process of trying to get bail conditions changed is for us to meet with our client in private to discuss the case. During this meeting, we will learn the reasons and circumstances for a bail condition change. A number of different things are taken into account when we consider trying to get bail conditions changed, so the particular details of your case as well as your past behaviour and adherence to your bail conditions are very important.

After having a private, one-on-one meeting with our client, we will meet with the Crown Attorney to put forward a strategy and explanation for why the bail conditions should be changed. Sometimes it can be easy to convince the Crown that bail conditions should be changed but other times, the Crown may be unwilling to make changes.

If we believe that we have a strong argument for having the bail conditions changed, we will do all we can to convince the Crown to make the changes. If that fails, we will consider going to court to ask the court to decide on the bail condition change.

The changes that can be made to bail conditions vary on a case by case basis; however some changes are quite common. For example, many of the changes are to allow the individuals more flexibility and more freedom to move forward with work opportunities. Some bail conditions require an individual not to work, or to only work at certain places or for a limited amount of time.

Sometimes there are valid reasons why the individual should have more freedom in their working conditions, and if so, we would propose this as a change to the bail conditions. Also, many individuals on bail desire or need more freedom and flexibility with communication opportunities. Again, most bail conditions stipulate restrictions regarding who the individual can speak with and the methods of communication.

Depending on the particulars of the case, we may be able to have the bail conditions changed so as to allow the individual more freedom in their communication. We often argue that these kinds of changes are often necessary to maintain a normal life.

If you are looking for legal advice regarding bail conditions and are wondering if changes may be made in your case, contact the lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.

Ottawa Lawyer | Bail Conditions Following Ontario Criminal Charges

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – When you have been charged with an Ontario offence and released on bail, there are conditions you must follow upon your release from custody.

As a lawyer who has defended public demonstration participants in the past, I read with interest the story of the charged G20 demonstrators who had special conditions applied to their bail arrangements – some of them were not allowed to speak to each other outside of a courtroom setting, and further still, some are being barred from participating in public demonstrations during their bail period.

If you successfully apply for bail, the next few months will not be easy. You will likely be under supervision, and you may have to refrain from certain activities. Even if these restrictions seem unfair or unnecessarily hurtful to you and your family, you must follow them! Here’s what happens if you don’t:

  1. You may be arrested, with more criminal charges added.
  2. You may have to attend a “contested bail hearing,” where the judge is likely to put an end to your current release from custody.
  3. You will have significantly lower chances, in the future, of successfully applying for a bail or release from custody.
  4. Favourable negotiations with the Crown, on your original charges, will be much more difficult.

If you do feel that your bail conditions are unfair, there is an option – discuss your release documents with your criminal defence lawyer. He or she may be able to successfully have the conditions changed.

If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offence in Ontario, and have questions about your release or bail, a top criminal lawyer can provide the answers you need. For more information, contact the Ottawa defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Arrested in Ontario? Will You Need a Bail Hearing?

Is there always a bail hearing when someone is arrested?

The simple answer is “no”.  In fact, often there is no bail hearing needed at all.

If you are arrested by the police, the police can release you directly from the police station without a bail hearing under three different arrangements.

First, the police can release you if you enter into a “promise to appear”.  Where that happens, you will be given a formal document with a date and time for a court appearance.  You will sign the promise to appear and agree to attend court as required.

The police can also release you directly if you enter into a “recognizance” in an amount not exceeding $500 without deposit, unless you do not ordinarily reside in the province or within 200 kilometres of the place where you are in custody.  If you do not live in the province or within 200 km, the officer in charge can require you to deposit a sum of money not exceeding $500 as part of the recognizance.

The police can also require you to enter into an “undertaking” in Form 11.1 with one or more of the following conditions:

a)    remain within a specified jurisdiction

b)    notify the police of any change in address, employment or occupation

c)    abstain from communicating with named persons and/or abstain from attending any specified address

d)    deposit passport

e)    abstain from possessing any firearms

f)      report to the police and sign in at the police station on specified dates

g)    abstain from the consumption or drugs or alcohol.

In any of these situations, your release following arrest will be reasonably prompt and no bail hearing will be required.