2. Find out if your partner got conditions

What if my abusive partner is charged with a crime?
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2. Find out if your partner got conditions

The police and the court can release someone charged with a crime in different ways. Each type of release has its own name.

For example, the police might release your partner on an "undertaking with conditions". This agreement is usually made at a police station. It means your partner:

  • promised in writing to appear in court on a future date
  • got conditions they have to follow.

If the police have concerns about releasing your partner, they must take your partner to court for a bail hearing. The judge or justice of the peace decides whether to release your partner, or to keep them in custody until the trial. If they are released, they usually have to follow bail conditions. Bail conditions are also called terms of release. These are the rules your partner must follow after being released.

The conditions set by the police or the court are very important. There are many different kinds of conditions. Common conditions in partner abuse cases include that the partner charged with a crime:

  • must show up to court on the date ordered
  • cannot contact the other partner
  • cannot go within a certain distance of the other partner's home or workplace
  • cannot have a gun or any kind of weapon
  • has limited or no access to their children

The police and the courts take conditions seriously. If your partner does not follow them, they can be arrested, charged with a new crime, and face a bail hearing. After the new hearing, they might be released on stricter conditions.

Conditions can be changed by the criminal court at any time during the court process. They end when the criminal case is over.

Your partner might try to force or scare you into asking the Crown Attorney or the court to change or remove the conditions. If your partner threatens you or your children, you should tell the police. Your partner might be charged for making this type of threat. You can also get support from the Victim/Witness Assistance Program at criminal court.

Family court

If you also have a family court case, you need to tell your family law lawyer or the family court about any conditions. It is important that your family court orders and criminal court orders don't say different things.

For example, your family court order may say your partner can go to your home to pick up the children for access. But if your partner's bail conditions say that they cannot come within 100 meters of your home, then the orders conflict because they say different things. Then your partner cannot go to your home because of the bail conditions even though the family court order said they could. This means either your partner’s access arrangements need to be changed in family court, or their bail conditions need to be changed in criminal court.

You May Also Need

Ontario Women's Justice Network (This resource is written for women in abusive relationships but might help anyone in an abusive relationship.)
Reviewed: August 31, 2017

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