Experienced Bail Lawyers
If you are charged with a criminal offence Mirza Kwok Criminal Defence Lawyers will be able to represent you effectively at a bail hearing. Retaining an experienced criminal defence lawyer will greatly improve your chance at getting released. We have a proven record of success and have obtained bail for individuals charged with the most serious offences.
In many instances our lawyers are able to negotiate your release from the police station on a promise to appear or undertaking with conditions thereby reducing the requirement for a bail hearing.
However, for other cases a bail hearing will be required. Bail hearings are typically held at court when a person is charged with offences such as: domestic assault; breaching bail conditions or probation orders; or higher offences such as drug trafficking or murder.
By law the police must bring a person charged with a criminal offence to Court within 24 hours of the arrest to have a bail hearing. In some special cases, the Crown can request an adjournment of the bail hearing for up to three clear days for reasons such as there is an ongoing criminal investigation and or the police and prosecutor require time to verify the identity of the accused.
How to prepare for the bail hearing
One of the keys to a successful bail hearing and obtaining release is having properly qualified and well prepared sureties. A bail surety must fulfill two primary sets of obligations: strong supervision and financial guarantee.
First in terms of supervision, a surety is a person that is willing to supervise the accused while on bail. This provides the Court assurance that the accused will respect their bail conditions and not commit further offences while released. The accused may be required to reside with the surety or at a place approved of by their surety. For instance, in domestic assault cases bail conditions typically require that the accused reside with their surety. This is because the core bail condition will be that the accused not communicate with the complainant until the case is completed or the bail condition can be changed at a later time.
Second with respect to financial commitment, the surety will be required to sign bail for an amount of money the Court deems reasonable. The surety will guarantee the amount of money and in most instances will not have to deposit the actual amount pledged with the court. However, the surety will have to be able to demonstrate that the money is available through equity in their home or savings. Presenting relevant bank documents to the Court will prove that the money is available.
Mirza Kwok Criminal Defence Lawyers will work with your friends or family to determine whether they have the suitable background to be a good surety. We will also canvass whether more than one surety is available to ensure the strongest bail plan is presented to increase your chance of getting bail.
How does the Court determine whether to grant bail?
If the accused has strong sureties that are capable of meeting the obligations of supervision and financial guarantee then the chances for bail are enhanced.
Ultimately to order bail, the court must be satisfied that the accused person will appear for court as required (primary grounds); will not commit further offences (secondary ground); and their release will not undermine the public’s confidence in the administration of justice (tertiary grounds).
For most offences the prosecutor has the onus to demonstrate that bail should not be granted. However, if the accused person is charged with breaching a bail condition, or has outstanding charges or is charged with certain high offences then the onus is on the accused to demonstrate why his or her release is justified.
How long is the bail hearing?
Most bail hearings can be completed within one day. Retaining a criminal defence lawyer increases the chances that your matter will be dealt with on the first day. Accused persons with criminal defence lawyers are more likely to be dealt with first. However, sometimes the bail hearing may extend beyond one day due to the complexity of the case, the number of sureties that need to testify or the start time of the bail hearing. In some regions, there are a high volume of other accused persons that have to be processed on a daily basis with limited courtrooms and Justices of the Peace available to complete the hearing. Since a lawyer is only retained for the one day, if further days are required may result in additional costs.
Where is the bail hearing conducted?
Mirza Kwok Criminal Defence Lawyers has counsel prepared to conduct a bail hearing for you at all of the greater Toronto courts.
For most offences, the bail hearing is typically conducted at the local Ontario Court of Justice in the area where the crime is alleged to have been committed. However, for families of the accused, finding the courthouse where their loved one will be taken for the bail hearing is not common knowledge.
To assist your family preparing for the bail hearing, the following is a list of the applicable courthouses based on region.
|Bail Lawyer Toronto (includes the following areas)||Bail Hearing Ontario Court of Justice Locations|
|Bail Lawyer Downtown Toronto||Old City Hall, 60 Queen Street West|
|Bail Lawyer Toronto West||2201 Finch Avenue West|
|Bail Lawyer Toronto East||Scarborough, 1911 Eglinton Avenue West|
|Bail Lawyer Toronto North||1000 Finch Avenue West|
|Bail Lawyer Toronto Central||College Park, 444 Yonge Street|
|Bail Lawyer Toronto for Superior Court Bail and Bail Reviews (High offences only such as murder)
*NOTE: for weekend arrests, all bail hearings on Saturday and Sunday are at Old City Hall only.
|361 University Avenue West|
|Bail Lawyer Peel (includes the following areas)||Bail Hearing Ontario Court of Justice Locations|
|Bail Lawyer Brampton||7755 Hurontario Street, Brampton|
|Bail Lawyer Mississauga||7755 Hurontario Street, Brampton|
|Superior Court Bails and Bail Reviews||7755 Hurontario Street, Brampton|
|Bail Lawyer York (includes the following areas)||Bail Hearing Ontario Court of Justice Locations|
|Bail Lawyer Newmarket||50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket|
|Bail Lawyer Markham||50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket|
|Bail Lawyer Vaughan||50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket|
|Bail Lawyer Woodbridge||50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket|
|Bail Lawyer Aurora||50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket|
|Bail Lawyer King City||50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket|
|Bail Lawyer Thornhill||50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket|
|Bail Lawyer Richmond Hill||50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket|
|Superior Court Bails for Bail Reviews||50 Eagle Street West, Newmarket|
|Bail Lawyer Halton (includes the following areas)||Bail Hearing Ontario Court of Justice Locations|
|Bail Lawyer Milton||491 Steeles Avenue East, Milton|
|Bail Lawyer Oakville||491 Steeles Avenue East, Milton|
|Bail Lawyer Burlington||491 Steeles Avenue East, Milton|
|Bail Lawyer Georgetown||491 Steeles Avenue East, Milton|
|*Note for weekend arrests all bail hearings on Saturday and Sunday are at 491 Steeles Avenue East|
|Bail Lawyer Durham (includes the following areas)||Bail Hearing Ontario Court of Justice Locations|
|Bail Lawyer Oshawa||150 Bond Street East, Oshawa|
|Bail Lawyer Pickering||150 Bond Street East Oshawa|
|Bail Lawyer Ajax||150 Bond Street East Oshawa|
|Superior Court Bails for High Offences||150 Bond Street East Oshawa|
|Bail Lawyer Dufferin (includes the following areas)||Bail Hearing Ontario Court of Justice Locations|
|Bail Lawyer Orangeville||10 Louisa Street, Orangeville|
|Bail Lawyer Niagara Region (includes the following areas)||Bail Hearing Ontario Court of Justice Locations|
|Bail Lawyer St. Catharines||59 Church Street, St. Catharines|
|Bail Lawyer Waterloo Region (includes the following areas)||Bail Hearing Ontario Court of Justice Locations|
|Bail Lawyer Kitchener||200 Federick Street, Kitchener|
|Bail Lawyer Waterloo||200 Federick Street, Kitchener|
|Superior Court Bail and Bail reviews||200 Federick Street, Kitchener|
|Bail Lawyer Wellington (includes the following areas)||Bail Hearing Ontario Court of Justice Locations|
|Bail Lawyer Guelph||36 Wyndham Street South, Guelph|
|Bail Lawyer Hamilton Wentworth (includes the following areas)||Bail Hearing Ontario Court of Justice Locations|
|Bail Lawyer Hamilton||45 Main Street East, Hamilton|
|Superior Court Bail and Bail Reviews||45 Main Street East, Hamilton|
What happens if there are no sureties available?
If the accused is unable to marshal suitable sureties in a timely manner, it may be wise to wait to have the bail hearing when the best plan can be put forward to the court. A bail hearing can be scheduled for a future date when the accused person is better able to proceed. In the interim, experienced criminal defence lawyers from our office will explore with the Crown prosecutor other alternatives to determine if bail can be granted earlier with the assistance of organizations such as the John Howard Society.
How do I have my bail conditions changed?
It is possible to have bail conditions amended and relaxed to allow for greater flexibility.
One way bail conditions may be relaxed is through our office entering into negotiations with the Crown Attorney and obtaining the prosecutor’s consent to amend the condition. This will typically involve presenting the Crown Attorney with information that supports why the change is necessary and reasonable.
Another way that an accused’s bail conditions can be changed is by way of a formal application or motion to the Superior Court (aka Higher Court) for a change of the bail conditions. This motion does not require the Crown’s consent to be brought. The criminal defence lawyer prepares this motion with supporting affidavits from the accused and his or her sureties setting out the background and basis for the request. A bail review hearing date is then set aside to argue the motion. The presiding judge will then determine after hearing argument whether the bail conditions can be changed. This motion requires special preparation and involves additional costs.
Mirza Kwok Criminal Defence Lawyers will work with you to determine whether there is a suitable basis to get the bail conditions changed.
When is a bail review required?
A bail review is also required when the accused is denied bail for flawed reasons by the presiding Justice of the Peace at the initial bail hearing. In this regard a bail review serves as an appeal procedure.
There are instances where Justices of the Peace make legal errors and improperly deny to an accused person reasonable bail. Mirza Kwok Criminal Defence Lawyers are prepared to review your case and where appropriate bring the necessary application to argue that bail should have been granted. A bail review may result in the release of the accused person particularly if the higher court is satisfied that the Justice of the Peace made a legal error, or there is a new plan of supervision.
How are youth bail hearings different from adult bail hearings?
Young accused persons are treated distinctly than their adult counterparts. Pursuant to the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) there is a greater emphasis on the Court releasing a young person to the supervision of their parents or legal guardians. The use of jail is to be more restrained when dealing with young persons. However, as with adults, young persons still require good sureties to obtain their release.
Below is an example of Mirza Kwok Criminal Defence Lawyers experience with a high profile youth murder bail case at the Ontario Court of Appeal: R. v. R.D.