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What is bail?
Bail is the written permission of the court allowing a person charged with a criminal offence to be released from custody or jail while they await their trial or some other result in their case, such as a guilty plea or withdrawal of their charges.
What is a bail hearing?
When someone is arrested and charged with a criminal offence, they may be released if they sign a form stating their promise to attend court on the date given to them by the police. If the police do not release them, the person who has been charged (the accused) will be taken to court where a decision to release them or not will be made.
In some cases, a bail hearing, which is like a short trial, is held and a judge or a justice of the peace decides whether the accused is eligible to be released on bail or not.
Under what circumstances will you face bail?
If a Member of the Immigration Division of the IRB considers a particular person (including citizens of other countries or a temporary or permanent resident of Canada) to be a threat to society or doubts their actual identity, the Member has the power to detain that individual until their hearing. For the hearing, this individual will need to provide proof and recognizance to be released.
Once they have been detained, they will have their first hearing within 48 hours. If they are not released, the next hearing will be within 7 days. After that, they will need to attend a hearing every 30 days until released and at every hearing, the immigration officer will review all the evidence again and make a new ruling to decide if they should be released or not.
What happens at a bail hearing?
First, the Crown will present the allegations to the court. Most of the time the Crown will do this by reading out the allegations found in the police synopsis. In some cases, the Crown will present the allegations by calling a witness, or witnesses, to testify in court. This witness will usually be the police officer in charge of the investigation.
After the allegations have been presented by the Crown, the accused’s lawyer or duty counsel has a chance to present their evidence. In most cases, the accused’s lawyer or duty counsel does this by having the accused or a potential surety (or both) testify. In some cases there will be more than one potential surety called as a witness. The accused’s lawyer or duty counsel will try to convince the court that, if released on bail, the accused will obey their bail conditions, either on their own or with the assistance of a surety (or sureties) to supervise them.
When both sides are finished giving their evidence, they make arguments to the judge or justice of the peace. The judge or justice of the peace will then decide to either release the accused on bail or keep them in jail while they await their trial or some other result, such as a guilty plea or a withdrawal of their charges.