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The Role of a Criminal Lawyer in a Bail Hearing: A Guide for Clients

What is a Bail Hearing?

In Canada, the Criminal Code stipulates that if an accused allegedly commits a crime, they will have a right to appear in bail court within 24 hours. A bail hearing (also called a show cause hearing) is essentially a process where a judge decided whether the accused should be kept in jail or be allowed to go back to the community while their case is progressing through court. If the accused is to be detained, they will be placed in a detention facility until their trial date. If the accused is released on bail, they will usually be required to pledge a certain amount of money and there are certain rules that the accused must follow while they are out in the community. 

What Role Do Lawyers Play?

At the hearing, the Crown has the responsibility to establish why the accused should not be released on bail. Specifically, there is a presumption of release, meaning the default position is that the accused should be released unless the Crown can show cause as to why this is not the right course of action. At the hearing, your bail lawyer will be responsible for things such as (1) ensuring the court does not put overly strict bail conditions on you, (2) ensuring that there are no unfairly erroneous conditions put on you, (3) that any restrictions that are set do not affect your ability to work, and (4) ensuring that you are released without detention until the court date.

The Relevant Factors for the Release

When deciding whether to continue detaining the accused, the court will consider whether one or more of the following three grounds for detention are met. (1) The primary ground states that detention is required to ensure that the accused will attend court. (2) The secondary ground states that detention is required in order to protect the public’s safety. (3) The tertiary ground states that detention is required in order to maintain the public’s confidence in the administration of justice system. 

The Process of Release and Bail

If the accused has been released on bail, the judge will consult the ladder principle when determining the appropriate restrictions for release. Specifically, the principle states that the accused be released on the least restrictive form of bail; unless the Crown can establish why the court should decide otherwise. If the Crown can show this, then the conditions will go ‘up the ladder’, meaning they will get more restrictive. The top of the ladder is house arrest.

Bail Conditions

Criminal lawyers, both the Crown Attorney and the Defense Attorney, are crucial to the bail hearing process. If the Crown cannot ‘show cause’ why the accused should not get bail, the accused will be free to go back into society while they await their trial. However, there are certain restrictions that will be placed on them. Some of these restrictions include the following: (1) the surrender of the accused’s passport, (2) keeping the peace and keeping good behaviour, (3) not communicating with certain persons, (4) not consuming any alcohol/drugs, (5) to report to the police on frequent intervals, etc. A good criminal defence lawyer will help the accused reduce and/or eliminate some of these restrictions. 

Toronto Bail Lawyers

Karapancev law is comprised of skilled criminal defence lawyers in Toronto. With offices in both downtown Toronto and in Mississauga, the firm is able to represent clients all throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Alex Karapancev and his staff are aware of the significant challenges that come with being accused of a serious crime. In these situations, both your professional and private lives can be affected. Throughout the Ontario, the firm represents clients in Court with tenacity and professionalism. The firm has experience securing bail for individuals charged with serious offences. Furthermore, the firm has experience bringing bail review applications, to appeal detention orders where they have been imposed. Please call our office right away if you need a top criminal lawyer in Toronto.

Alexander Karapancev

Alexander Karapancev

Alexander Karapancev is a Toronto criminal lawyer practicing throughout the province of Ontario. He regularly serves as lead trial counsel on serious and complex criminal cases. He is the founder of Karapancev Law, a law firm representing clients facing criminal charges, regulatory offences, and professional discipline proceedings.

Mr. Karapancev has acted as counsel in hundreds of cases throughout the province of Ontario, regularly representing clients at trials, applications, bail hearings and preliminary inquiries. He is regularly retained to defend individuals charged with serious allegations of fraud, drug trafficking, DUI offences, domestic assault, and sexual assault. Prior to founding his law firm, Mr. Karapancev practiced criminal defence at a boutique Toronto law firm and also served as a per diem Crown prosecutor.

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