Practice Areas

Bail Hearings and Bail Reviews

Bail Hearings

A bail hearing is one of the most important events in the justice system. Although a person who is detained is not considered guilty, they are limited to short meetings with their lawyer at the jail.

The bail hearing is the Crown’s first opportunity to present the evidence against you. If someone is detained after a bail hearing, they have the right to a bail review.

If you or a family member is detained, Céline will work tirelessly for an early bail hearing and release while you await your trial.

Your bail hearing

Céline has represented clients in countless bail hearings in Ottawa. Having a lawyer present for your bail hearing can greatly improve your chances of being released, if just because it demonstrates to the court that you are taking the charges seriously, and are therefore less likely to miss your court appearance.

Types of release

The two most common types of release are:

Appearance Notice/Promise to Appear

Typically reserved for those with little or no prior criminal history or relatively few criminal charges, this type of release does not require a formal bail hearing and conditions are minimal. It’s crucial that you attend court on all specified dates. In some cases, you may be required to sign an “undertaking” outlining additional conditions. These may include:

  • keeping the peace
  • reporting to police
  • having no contact with certain people
  • staying away from certain addresses
  • remaining in the province
  • abstaining from alcohol
  • obeying a curfew

This type of release is reserved for cases with more serious charges, when the accused has a criminal history or is believed to be a flight risk, or when there is a significant risk of further offenses being committed.
A recognizance release is secured with a cash deposit (returned when the charges are dealt with completely), a no-cash deposit (paid only if the conditions of the release are not followed), or a surety (requiring someone to supervise the released person, in addition to a cash or no-cash deposit).

Additionally, conditions may include:

  • surrendering your passport
  • having no contact with certain people
  • staying away from certain addresses
  • attending counselling
  • abstaining cellphone or internet use
  • abstaining from driving
  • not possessing a weapon
  • abstaining from alcohol
  • remaining in Ontario

While the conditions outlined in an undertaking can be contested and negotiated, it is very difficult to challenge the conditions of a recognizance.