Bail

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How soon can I apply for bail if the police keep me in custody?

    You have a right to a bail application or hearing within 24 hours of being arrested or as soon as possible if a magistrate is not available within the 24-hour period.

  • What does the court consider when deciding whether to grant bail?

    The court considers three issues at the bail application. One is whether the detention is necessary to make sure that the accused attends court. The second consideration is whether detention is necessary for the protection or safety of the public. The third issue is whether the detention is necessary to maintain confidence in the administration of justice. When considering the third issue, the court must look at the strength of the prosecution’s case, the gravity of the offence, whether a firearm was used in the offence, and whether the accused was charged with an offence involving a firearm which has a minimum sentence of three years imprisonment.

  • What is a recognizance? What is a surety?

    A recognizance is a promise that you will attend court as required. The court may require a surety as part of the recognizance. A surety is a person who puts up or guarantees to put up property or money. The property or money may be lost if the accused fails to appear for court, breaks conditions of the court, or becomes involved in a new criminal activity.

  • Who can be a surety?

    A surety must be a Canadian citizen with no criminal record. They must have a full-time job, house, or other property of value.

  • What sort of conditions are usually part of a recognizance?

    Some common conditions include personal appearance at all court hearings, no contact or communication with the victim, residing at a certain address, not possessing weapons, obeying a curfew, attending treatment or counselling, reporting to a bail supervision program as required, and to not use alcohol or drugs.

  • If I am not released on bail do I have another chance to apply?

    If you are not released after a bail application, you may apply at a later date for bail review in a higher court (the Court of Queen’s Bench or the Court of Appeal).