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How do I change the conditions of my bail or police undertaking?

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How do I change the conditions of my bail or police undertaking?
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Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Legal Aid Ontario

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How do I change the conditions of my bail or police undertaking?
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Reviewed: 
July 15, 2019
Answer

Bail is a court order allowing you to remain in the community while your case is in criminal court. A police undertaking is another type of release from custody. Both types of release can have conditions that you must follow.

You can ask to change the conditions of your bail or police undertaking. This can be done through:

You will likely need to hire a lawyer to do this. Duty counsel do not usually help with variations or bail review applications.

Being able to change your conditions is not a right. The court may not agree to your request. 

Consent variation

Ask the Crown if they will change your conditions. This is called a consent variation. A consent variation is the fastest and least expensive way to change your bail or police undertaking.

Your lawyer can help you with the consent variation. Your lawyer can talk to the Crown about the change and give them documents that show why the change is necessary.

If the Crown agrees to your request, you will have to go to court to sign the Bail Variation form. Any sureties you have must go to court with you to sign the form too. The variation does not take effect until it is signed by a judge or justice of the peace.

If the Crown doesn't agree to the variation, you can try to have the condition changed through a bail review. 

Bail review

Asking to have your conditions changed through a bail review is costly and takes time. To apply for a bail review, you must give a Notice of Application to the Crown and go to the Superior Court of Justice. 

Your application must explain why you want a bail review. You must prove that:

  • there has been a material change in circumstance, or
  • an error in law was made during your original bail hearing.

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