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Can the police make me sign conditions when they let me go?

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Can the police make me sign conditions when they let me go?
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Can the police make me sign conditions when they let me go?
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Reviewed: 
December 31, 2016
Answer

Yes. After you're arrested, the police may let you go without a bail hearing.  

Release documents

The police will give you a release document telling you when you must appear in court. You may also have to agree to comply with certain conditions in order to be released.

These conditions will be stated in release documents. For example, they may say you must:

  • remain in the province
  • let the police know if your job, or address changes
  • not communicate with specific people
  • not go to specific places
  • report to the police at specific times
  • not have any weapons
  • not have any drugs except with a valid prescription in your name

The police officer may give you a promise to appear, which is a type of release document. A promise to appear states:

  • your name
  • the offence you've been accused of
  • the time and place of your first court appearance

Before they let you go, a police officer may ask you to sign a document called an undertaking to an officer in charge. An undertaking to an officer in charge will have conditions that you must follow.

You must follow all of the conditions in your release documents while your case is being considered by the court.

It is important that you understand all of the conditions you're being asked to follow. You must do everything that you promised to do in your release documents.

If you don't, you can be arrested and charged with failure to comply. If that happens, you will be held in custody until your bail hearing.

If your release conditions ask for something that makes it impossible for you to follow the conditions in a court order, tell the police officer.

If you don't promise to follow the conditions in your release documents, the police may not let you leave. Instead, you will be held in custody until you have a bail hearing.

Ask to talk to a lawyer

You can ask to talk to a lawyer before you sign your release documents. The police should let you contact your lawyer a second time if you didn’t get any advice about release conditions during your first consultation. But if you already talked to a lawyer earlier, they may not let you contact your lawyer again.

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