Will I Be Released On Bail?

A common concern of individuals charged with a criminal offence, is whether or not they will be released on bail.  This varies on a case by case basis, but most of our clients qualify to be released on bail.  A number of factors are taken into consideration when a judge decides on whether or not someone will be released on bail.  Usually factors such as an individual’s criminal record and plan of release are issues that determine bail.  While a judge determines bail, both the Crown attorney and the defence lawyers have the opportunity to argue either for or against bail.  The criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth work very hard to have clients released on favourable conditions.

In preparing to suggest bail to a judge, we meet with our client and speak with the police and the Crown attorney in order to secure our client’s release on bail.  We do our best to achieve the most favourable conditions for bail and to do so as quickly as possible.  We know that our clients are anxious to have a decision about bail made so we try to have bail decided as soon as possible.

Once an individual is granted bail, the court will stipulate certain conditions that the individual must comply with in order to remain released on bail.  Certain conditions are common, while others are determined based on the particular circumstances of your case.  If you are released on bail, the court will review your case and take into consideration arguments from the prosecution and the defence.  We will do our best to achieve the most favourable bail conditions possible.

If you are wondering if bail might be possible in your case, contact the defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth.  They will be able to go over your case with you and see if you might be able to be released on bail.

Defending Assault Charges in Ontario – Assault Charges – Can You Defend Them?

Ottawa assault lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth defend many clients charged with assault, spousal / domestic assault, assault causing bodily harm, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

Call an Ottawa assault lawyer at 613-233-4529 or email [email protected] so we can use our experience to help you.

This is Serious!

Here are the maximum sentences that can be imposed if you are convicted of assault:

Assault–  imprisonment up to five years

Assault causing bodily harm– imprisonment up to ten years

Assault with a weapon –imprisonment up to ten years

Aggravated assault – imprisonment up to fourteen years

There is a lot at stake!

If you are convicted, you could have problems crossing the U.S. border, obtaining a professional license (such as a real estate agent or mortgage broker) and have other job problems.

How can an Ottawa Defence Lawyer help?

  • An Ottawa defence lawyer will study the Crown brief (the evidence they collect from the police).
  • An Ottawa defence lawyer will identify who the Crown witnesses are and investigate their backgrounds.  In many cases we engage private investigators with great success.
  • An Ottawa defence lawyer will interview witnesses you suggest or who we uncover who may provide a different perspective on the Crown’s version of events.
  • An Ottawa defence lawyer knows how to review the disclosure (the Crown’s evidence, primarily from the police) to detect if your Charter rights were violated during the process leading up to your arrest.
  • For example, if you gave a statement to police that the Crown wants to use against you, your Ottawa defence lawyer will scrutinize how that statement was obtained to ensure your rights were not violated.  If your rights were violated, the Crown may not be able to use your statement against you.
  • At Auger Hollingsworth, our criminal defence lawyers ae prepared to take an aggressive stand during the pretrial stage to help you avoid the expense and worry of a trial by pressing the Crown to withdraw charges where they have not reasonable prospect of conviction.

What Should You Do NOW?

  • DO NOT tell your family and friends the “whole story” leading to your arrest.  Keep the details to yourself and your Ottawa criminal lawyer.
  • DO make notes of what happened leading up to your arrest and provide them to your Ottawa defence lawyer.  Make these notes asap after you are released from the police station while the events are still fresh.
  • Do follow your Ottawa criminal lawyer’s advice.  If your lawyer wants you to go for anger management, drug or alcohol assessment or other psychological investigations, DO IT.  Your efforts can only help you.
  • DO comply with any conditions of release imposed by the police carefully.  Your criminal defence lawyer’s bargaining power with the Crown decreases significantly if you are charged with a breach of your terms of release.
  • DO stay clear of the person who you are alleged to have assaulted.  If it is essential that you communicate with the other person, your defence lawyer can take steps to get permission.

If you are looking for a criminal defence lawyer to help you with your charges of assault, contact a Ottawa Criminal Defence Lawyer at 613 233-4529 or by emailing [email protected].

Getting Released from Jail on Bail – NEED TO GET OUT OF JAIL ON BAIL?

The Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth can assist our clients in jail to get released on bail. This is one of the most crucial parts of your defense strategy.

If the Crown Consents to Release You:

Often the Crown Attorney will agree to release you if the crime is not violent, not very serious or the person is not considered a flight risk. If Crown consents, your release is normally within hours.

Recognizance

A person who was arrested without a warrant will normally be released on the agreement of the Crown with a summons, appearance notice or promise to appear.

Other times, release will be conditional on the entering of a “recognizance” in amount of up to $500.

Undertaking with Conditions

The Crown could also consent to a release based on undertaking with conditions. For example:

  • To remain within a certain area;
  • To deposit a passport;
  • To notify the police of any change in address or employment;
  • To attend school (where applicable);
  • To abstain from communicating with any person or from going to any place;
  • To abstain from possessing a firearm and to surrender any firearm;
  • To report to police at specified times;
  • To abstain from consuming alcohol or other intoxicating substances; and/or
  • To abstain from taking druges except in accordance with a medical prescription

What if the Crown does not agree to release?

The Criminal Code of Canada mandates that someone who is being detained in jail after arrest be brought to court before a Justice of the Peace within 24 hours or as soon as possible. This timeline applies even if the arrest is on the weekend or a holiday.  In most jurisdications, Justices of the Peace hold bail hearings on Saturdays and Sundays.

If the Crown doesn’t agree to a release, if the Crown cannot hold a full bail hearing within twenty-four  hours, then the Crown may request to postpone the hearing for up to seventy-two hours.

Sureties

In some circumstances, delaying the hearing makes sense for the person who has been charged. The extra time can permit his or her criminal defence lawyer to assemble a strong case for release and to arrange for sureties.

What is a surety? A surety is someone who consents to be responsible for, and supervise, someone charged with a crime. Sometimes a surety has to put up or promise to pay money to the Court if the charged person fails to obey conditions of release from custody.

Are all Release Plans the Same?

No. Often, the Court’s decision to grant bail or not will depend on how good the decision maker consders the plan of release to be. Important questions to be answered are: does the person have a place to stay, a job to go to, counseling and support as required and appropriate supervision by someone whom the accused person respects. Sometimes, assembling the plan can take time.

Considerations when the Court will consider whether to release someone on bail:

The 3 considerations for the Court at a bail hearing:

  1. Is the detention necessary to ensure the person’s attendance in court?
  2. Is the detention necessary for the protection or safety of the public?
  3. Is there any other just cause requiring detention having regard to all circumstances, including the apparent strength of the prosecution’s case, the gravity of the nature of the offence, the circumstances surrounding its commission and the potential for a lengthy term of imprisonment?

Who has the Burden at a Bail Hearing?

The Crown normally has the onus to “show cause” why the accused should be held.  For some offences, or for people who have a record for failure to attend court, the onus or burden can be on the detained person to “show cause” why he or she should be released.

What if Bail id Denied?

Hire a criminal defence lawyer to handle your bail hearing before the Justice of the Peace to secure the best possible result, as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

Bail Review

Where release is denied, a “bail review” can be scheduled before a judge.   The same three factors apply, but the judge is not bound by the views of the Justice of the Peace.

Note:  If the Justice of the Peace releases the accused person, the Crown can also seek a bail review.

Sometimes it can take several weeks to get a date before a judge where your lawyer, the Crown, the witnesses and a judge are all available. The requirement to obtain (and pay for) the transcript of the initial bail hearing can also contribute to delay.

This can be frustrating and requires patience.  You can be assured that Auger Hollingsworth would do everything in its power to move your hearing forward as quickly as possible.  However, the possible delay is a strong reason to take your initial bail hearing seriously and hire a lawyer immediately.

Why is Bail so Important?

Apart from the disruption and anxiety of separation from family and friends and loss of employment, there are strategic reasons to seek bail in many cases.  For example:

  • It is more difficult and costly to meet with your lawyer and to assist in the preparation of your case from the detention centre. Your lawyer is limited as to when he or she can visit you. Telephone access is limited.
  • If you proceed to trial, you will be seated in the prisoner’s dock if you are in custody. This can have an impact, particularly on a jury.
  • If you are released on bail for months or more prior to trial, and stay out of trouble while out of custody, you will have a strong argument in any sentencing hearing that a jail sentence is not required and that you are rehabilitated.

If you or a loved one needs help getting out on bail, do not wait.  Contact a criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.  Our Ottawa criminal defence lawyers will handle bail hearings and bail reviews in Ottawa, Smiths Falls, Perth, Cornwall, Hawksbury, L’Orignal, and many other locations.  Call 613 233-4529 or email [email protected] today!

Police Crime Tracking System Announced

A new crime tracker is now available locate criminal activity in the Ottawa area.  The police announcement is here.

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