Following an arrest, if an accused person is not released by the peace officer or by the sergeant in charge at the police station, that person must be brought before a Justice of the Peace without unreasonable delay and within twenty-four hours.
If the prosecution does not agree to that person’s release on that first appearance before the justice of the peace, then a “bail hearing” (formally known as a “show cause hearing”) is requested.
- If an accused person is released from custody following the bail hearing, then they may be subject to bail conditions.
- If an accused person is denied bail and kept in custody following the bail hearing, a review of that decision can be sought in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the detention is automatically reviewed following the expiration of ninety days.
There are well defined provisions within the Criminal Code which guide the courts in deciding whether a detention order is justified. Whether someone is released or detained will depend on whether they will not appear for court dates, whether they will endanger the public, or whether the administration of justice would suffer if they are released.
Awaiting trial can often take several months and whether a defendant is in jail or free to live in the community during that period of time can have a significant impact on one’s life and family, as well as limit the opportunity to meet with lawyers in preparation for trial.
Our criminal defence and bail lawyers have experience with virtually every type of bail hearing from the initial appearance before the Justice of the Peace to multiple-day hearings for the most serious charges such as murder and alleged membership in criminal organizations.