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How should I prepare for my bail hearing?

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How should I prepare for my bail hearing?
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Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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How should I prepare for my bail hearing?
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Reviewed: 
July 1, 2018
Answer

At a bail hearing, a judge or justice of the peace decides if you should be held in custody or released. If you’re granted bail, you will likely have to follow conditions given to you by the court.

Your bail hearing is a very important step in the criminal court process. You only get one bail hearing in the Ontario Court of Justice. If you are denied bail, you will be in custody until your case is resolved, goes to trial, or you're released after a bail review in the Superior Court of Justice.

Talk to a lawyer

If you haven’t already, contact a criminal defence lawyer. Tell the lawyer what criminal charges you're facing, and that you're being held for a bail hearing.

Legal Aid Ontario pays lawyers known as duty counsel to help people in bail court who can’t afford a lawyer. If you don't already have a lawyer, duty counsel will interview you in the cells at the courthouse and help prepare a bail plan before you're brought into the courtroom for your bail hearing.

What your lawyer will do

Your lawyer will interview you to learn:

  • your personal and medical history
  • if you have a criminal record
  • if you have other outstanding charges
  • if you have a place to stay if released from jail

It is important to tell your lawyer if you suffer from:

  • medical conditions
  • addictions
  • mental health issues

Your lawyer will talk to you about:

  • what the police say you did
  • information on your criminal record
  • your bail plan
  • what happens if you’re released on bail and you don’t follow your bail conditions

Your lawyer will also ask for the names and phone numbers of family and friends that may be able to act as your surety and will contact them to come to your bail hearing if necessary.

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