Types of Bail in Ontario
In Ontario, bail is a court order that allows an accused person to remain in the community while their case is pending in the criminal court. With this order comes a number of conditions that are imposed as terms of release for the accused. If there is a breach of any of these conditions for any reason, this will be considered a criminal offence.
However, there will be times when these conditions may become intrusive and impact the ability of the accused to carry on with their everyday life. In this situation, they can seek bail variations. Essentially this means an alteration of their original conditions. These could be minor variations such as an address change or larger ones, such as curfew extension.
CHANGING THE CONDITIONS
There are two ways one can ask to change the conditions of bail. One is through a process called consent variation and the other is an application for a bail review in the Superior Court of Justice. Consent variation requires the Crown to agree to change your conditions. This is the most convenient and cost-effective way to have your terms varied.
The lawyer of the accused and the Crown can negotiate some of the terms and provide documents that show why the change is necessary and beneficial. The success rate of having conditions changed are premised on the reasonableness of what is being asked.
For example, if it is a curfew extension, the lawyer has to provide good reasons as to why the extension is necessary. It is important to remember that having your bail conditions varied is not an inherent right and that the Crown can disagree.
However, if the Crown does agree to the request, the accused will have to go to court to sign the bail variation form. The sureties will also have to go to sign the form as well. The variations do not take place until a Justice of Peace or Judge has signed the form.
Bail Reviews – We Help You Get The Results You Want
There may be times where the Crown will not agree to the conditions, and you may need to try the second approach: application for bail review. However, this process is quite lengthy and quite costly as well. This is an intensive process that requires many materials such as transcripts and affidavits.
To apply for a bail review, you have to give a Notice of Application to the Crown and then go to the Superior Court of Justice. In the application, there has to be proper reasoning why a bail review is required.
This can be done by either proving that there has been a material change in circumstances (work, travel, visiting people, etc.) or there was an error in law made during your original bail hearing.