Friday, November 6, 2015

MAKING BAIL: FOUR TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR CHANCES FOR THAT GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD

Other than being charged, making or not making bail may have a greater affect on the outcome of your criminal case than any other factor. Greater than the evidence investigators claim to have amassed against you. And even greater than what transpires at your trial.

Our constitutional law is rife with assertions that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and that you've got a right to a trial within a reasonable time. There's a less well known provision contained in s-s. 11(e) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which affirms that "Any person charged with an offence has the right ... not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause." But don't make the mistake of thinking this provision means that you're almost guaranteed to make bail if you don't have a horrible criminal record and aren't already out on multiple other bail releases.

The Crown frequently demands that people accused of offences be detained in custody pending trial. Even for people with no criminal records. Even for people not already out on another bail. And even for people not accused on the most serious criminal offences. The ultimate release decision rests with the Court, not the Crown, but if the Crown demands your detention then you're facing a contested bail hearing. You should make sure you have a lawyer for such a hearing, regardless of whether it is legal aid duty counsel, or a privately retained lawyer (I serve in both roles from time to time).

Unfortunately, Parliament has set up a complex set of provisions in the Criminal Code governing the tests which must be met to make bail, the evidence admissible at a bail hearing, and on whom the onus falls - Crown or defence - to establish the tests. What this means for you or your loved one who is locked up awaiting a bail hearing is that you need a strong bail plan to present to the court, and you need evidence to back up it. Promises simply to behave usually just won't cut it alone.

So the tips I can offer you to maximize your chances for that get out of jail free card are:

TIP #1: Contact one or two "sureties" who can be present at the bail hearing to vouch for you, and agree to supervise you during your release pending trial. They're like civilian jailers, who keep an eye on whether you're obeying your conditions, and pledge to call the police if you breach. They also usually pledge a sum of good conduct money, but usually without any upfront deposit. If you're able to, start calling potential sureties as soon as you've been arrested, as you might have trouble getting hold of them, and everyone you call might not want to act. Or ask your lawyer to make the calls.

TIP #2: Figure out if you have some cash available for a bail deposit. While we don't do massive bail bonds in Canada as happens in the U.S. (where a bondsman essentially lends you a large amount for bail), the courts do always appreciate some cold hard cash as a behaviour incentive while on bail. It's almost always required if you're from out of province or out of country from the place you're accused of committing an offence in. Any amount from $1,000 to $100,000 can be useful (higher amounts of cash are possible, I suppose, but I have only personally seen no deposit sureties go higher, like when someone pledges a house).

TIP #3: Present a release plan that will keep you out of trouble while on bail. This plan could range from anything like where you will be working or attending school, up to a curfew, and even 24 hour per day house arrest with never leaving the house without your surety. Generally, the more serious the accusations, and more of a record or other releases you have amassed, the more the need for stricter release conditions.

TIP #4: Gather together documentary evidence to support your sureties and release plan. So if you claim to be working somewhere full time, ask your boss for a letter to confirm this. If your mother intends to pledge $20,000 in your favour for your release, obtain her title documents for her house proving what she owns, how much it is worth, and how much of a mortgage sits on it - great precision here isn't required, but something is usually necessary beyond the simple word of your surety.


8 comments:

  1. I just got a new car yesterday. As soon as I came out of the parking lot from my apt and within 1/4mile away from my apt a cop pulled me over for a speeding. He said I was going 50mph on a 35mph limit zone (I'm going to check today if there is a sign). I don't believe that I was going 50mph because I had to stop for a pedestrian to cross the road then I pressed the gas and the motorcycle cop was right after the cross walk. Do you think it's worth fighting for? My boyfriend is telling me to extend the court date and try to fight it (it worked for him) and the cop might not even show up. It's a 50/50 chance. But if I do lose the case then I'll be paying for the court fee and ticket? How much is the court fee anyway? After all that, can I still go to traffic school? How much is online traffic school? Please HELP :'(

    traffic violation attorneys

    ReplyDelete

  2. Mortgage agents play a very crucial role when it comes to handling real estate business transactions. They come in handy when it comes to helping buyers to choose suitable financing options based on immediate economic signals and home market trends.
    There are many individuals, as well as corporate customers who depend on the expertise of these individuals. Please see more www.omj.ca,best mortgage rates ontario

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thats great. i chose got the right one information at the right time for the right situation. thanks for sharing.
    law enforcement podcast

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. obtain kalamazoo bail bonds

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. obtain kalamazoo bail bonds

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. There are many corporate personals , as well as corporate customers who depend on the specialties of these lawyers.
    Criminal Health Attorney

    ReplyDelete
  8. I read this article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work..wrongful death

    ReplyDelete