Generally speaking, if a person is charged with a criminal offence there is a possibility that s/he can be detained unless and until s/he is released by the court.
If you are denied bail you risk being held in jail for an offence that you are presumed to be innocent of until the day of the completion of your trial
With regard to most charges under the criminal code, the law states that a person arrested has to either be released or be brought before a justice within 24 hours of his/her arrest if s/he is not released by police.
A person must then be released unless the prosecutor can show why s/he should continue to be detained. In certain circumstances with more serious charges, the law makes it the job of the defence lawyer to show why an accused person should be released. This is referred to as a “reverse onus”.
Reasons for bail denial
- The person will not attend court as required. Often this is stated as saying that s/he is a “flight risk”.
- The person is a danger to the public and that if the person is released there is a “substantial likelihood” that s/he will commit an offence that interferes with the administration of justice.
- After considering all the facts including how strong the crown’s case is and the circumstances relating to the offence, a person can be detained if the court believes that the public would lose confidence in the justice system if s/he were released.
How to Get Bail
Even if the prosecution presents strong evidence to argue that a person should be detained, a defence lawyer can also present evidence of a plan that will attend to any concerns that the court may have in releasing a person.
Here are a few of the ways a criminal defence lawyer can help an accused person get bail
- Sureties – often the lawyer will call witnesses called sureties to testify to the court that they are willing to supervise an accused person while s/he is out on bail. The surety will make sure that person attends court and does not commit any further offences.
- Promise of the accused – Sometimes an accused person will be called as a witness by his/her lawyer to testify before the court and promise the court that s/he will not break the law if s/he is released on bail.
- Cash Bail –Cash deposited with the court is the strongest form of release according to the criminal code, but it is as common as sureties.
- Electronic bracelets – In some cases an accused person can propose to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet around his/her ankle to allow him/her to be monitored while on bail. In cases where this is granted the costs is the responsibility of the accused person.