Bail Hearings - Aitken Robertson Barristers & Solicitors

Bail and Bail Bond Lawyers in Peterborough, Ontario Canada

Following an arrest, a criminal defendant may appear in court several times before the start of any actual trial. These pre-trial court appearances may include a hearing to enter a plea, a bail hearing, and any other pre-trial hearings that may be deemed appropriate. In most cases, a defendant is entitled to post bail. Bail may not be an option if the alleged offence was especially serious (such as a murder or rape), or if the judge believes that the suspect is a flight risk.

Legal Considerations Involved in a Bail Hearing

Bail hearings usually take place within 24 hours of an arrest. At a bail hearing, a judge or justice will decide whether the suspect can be released or if they should remain in custody until the trial date. In making this decision, the judge will consider several questions, including:

– Is the suspect a danger to themselves or anyone else?

– How serious is the alleged offence?

– Does the suspect have a prior criminal record?

– Similarly, are there outstanding charges against the suspect?

– Has the suspect failed to appear for a trial in the past?

– Does the suspect have a job or business in the area?

– Does the suspect have family in the area?

In many cases, it can be helpful to enlist a friend or family member, preferably someone with a stellar reputation, to speak on the suspect’s behalf at a bail hearing.

Conditions of Bail

If you have been arrested and are seeking bail, keep in mind that your bail may come with some conditions. Most bail agreements include requirements as to what a defendant can and cannot do while he or she is released on bail. For example, you may be required to report to a police station periodically, and to notify the police of any change in your residence or employment. You may also be required to enter into a recognizance, which is a written promise to appear at a future time and place set forth by the court. Failure to appear may result in fines or other additional penalties. You may not be allowed to leave the province of Ontario until the disposition of your case.

Your bail conditions may also require someone to post a bond or surety for you; this is basically a deposit with the court of a significant amount of money or a lien on property. The money or property acts as security on your promise to appear. Failure to appear would mean the money is forfeited to the Crown Attorney office, or property liens enforced for that amount.

If for some reason you are not released on bail, or if you believe that the bail amount was set unreasonably high, you are allowed to request that the decision be reviewed by a judge of Superior Court of Justice. If your application for review is denied, then you will have to wait 30 days before resubmitting the application.

How a Criminal Defence Lawyer Can Help With Your Bail Hearing

As with any court hearing, you should always be represented by an experienced lawyer at your bail hearing. A bail bond attorney is familiar with the legal wrangling that goes on with bail procedures, and will be able to properly represent you and protect your rights under the law. If you have been arrested or are under investigation for criminal activity, contact a qualified bail bond lawyer as soon as possible.

The legal team at the law firm of Aitken Robertson has decades of experience in criminal law, with a solid track record of successful cases throughout Peterborough and Ontario. They offer a free initial consultation, affordable fees with flexible payment plans, and evening and weekend hours. They can represent you in any criminal matter, including drug offences, assaults, theft, and fraud, as well as bail hearings and criminal appeals. You can reach Richard Aitken and his colleagues through any one of Aitken Robertson’s office locations or by calling (866) 762-9218.