What to Expect at Bail Hearings

Bail hearings can be complex. Sondhi Defence Professional Corporation has the experience to navigate these waters. Call us for a free consultation.

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What Is a Bail Hearing?

Most people are unaware of what happens after they get arrested for committing an offence. The common expectation is that they will be taken to the police station and can secure bail after their fingerprints and photographs are taken. However, this is not always the case.

In most cases, the officer will release or charge you after twenty-four hours. But, for more serious crimes, they may decide to keep you in custody until your trial date. If you are kept in custody, you have the right to a bail hearing with an available judge.

Bail hearings are court processes where a judge or a justice of the peace decides whether to release you on bail or detain you pending trial. Police officers may place you in a detention facility ahead of your bail hearing.

What Happens at a Bail Hearing?

The bail hearing consists of the justice of the peace, a prosecutor, and the defendant’s attorney. The court will consider all evidence presented by the prosecution and defence. Some examples of factors they may consider include:

  • The defendant’s character and history

  • The seriousness of the charge

  • Whether the defendant has a record of violence

  • The defendant’s financial resources and employment

  • Whether the defendant can post bail

  • The nature of the alleged crime

  • The defendant’s prior criminal history and court appearances

  • Family connections and length of residence within the community

  • Whether they will obey the conditions of their release

The Crown is responsible for showing why the accused should not be granted bail. But, in the case of serious violent crimes, the burden of proof is on you to show why the court should grant you bail.

You will need a surety who must promise to supervise you and make sure you behave appropriately. The surety may pay a certain amount if you breach your bail conditions. A family member or relative may act as your surety in court.

If an accused individual in Canada has a missed court date during the bail process, it can have serious implications, potentially leading to the revocation of their bail.

What Bail Conditions Are Imposed By the Court After Your Release?

A bail denial means you will remain in custody until brought before the trial court. If the judge approves your bail request, you may have to comply with specific conditions, including:

  • Going no contact with the victim or other people in connection with the offence

  • Avoiding certain places prohibited by the bail order

  • Notifying the court of a change in address

  • Not possessing firearms

  • Obeying curfews set by the court

  • Depositing a passport to prevent travel

  • Attending drug and alcohol testing and treatment programs

  • Attending periodic meetings with a bail supervisor

If you fail to comply with your bail conditions, the court may revoke your bail. A police officer will arrest you, and a new bail hearing will be scheduled.

Additionally, the court may charge you with a new offence. This could make it very difficult for you to obtain bail in the future.


What Are the Reasons for Denying Bail?

Under the criminal code, there are three justifications for denying bail including:

  • You will likely not appear in court: The court will deny bail if you have a history of failing to appear. Additionally, you may be considered a flight risk if you have no ties with the court jurisdiction. For example, you live in a different country and have no address in Ontario.
  • Protection of the public: The court may decide to detain you if it is necessary to protect the public. They will consider several factors to determine if you are likely to commit the offence again. If the judge decides you are a substantial risk, you will remain in custody pending trial.
  • Maintaining confidence in the justice system: The judge may deny you bail if your release will make the public lose confidence in the justice system. They may consider the gravity of the offence and the strength of the prosecution’s case. You will likely remain in police custody for very serious crimes.

Can Bail Conditions Be Modified?

Bail variations allow for modifications to be made to the conditions of your bail. You may apply for a consent variation or bail review in a Superior Court of Justice.

In consent variation, the Crown will agree to modify your bail conditions. But, you will require an attorney’s help to explain the reasons for the modification.

This modification comes with no cost and may happen quickly. However, you must provide evidence of why you cannot meet the original bail conditions. If the Crown agrees to the modification, you can fill out an application for consent bail variation with your surety.

You must email the application to the Crown, who will fill out their part and send it to the court. If the Crown disagrees with the modification, you may apply for a bail review in the Superior Court.

You may also apply for a bail review if you are denied bail at your bail hearing. You must give notice of application to the Crown before going to the Superior Court.

You must show a change in your circumstances or an error of law made by the judge. Nevertheless, you must give a two-day notice to the prosecutor before the judge will hear your case.


Speak to a Lawyer at Sondhi Defence


Securing bail is important, especially if you are innocent of the charges brought against you. Further, bail allows you to spend time with your loved ones while crafting strong defence strategies.

At Sondhi Defence, we have extensive experience representing clients at their bail hearings. Our lawyers understand criminal law and can guide you through all court proceedings, including bail hearings.

Having a surety at your bail hearing can give you a chance of being released on bail. But, if your surety is untrained, they may say the wrong things, affecting your chances. We can prepare your surety and guide them through the bail process. Therefore, making them confident to stand in court and answer questions.

The type of bail conditions you are released with can seriously impact your life. A skilled Sondhi Defence lawyer can argue for more suitable conditions on your behalf. If you are facing criminal charges and need legal advice about your bail hearing, contact us today.

Get In Touch

If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offence, call us right away at 1 (855) 4-SONDHI and get our team on your side.