2. Understand your bail conditions

What are bail conditions?
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2. Understand your bail conditions

Before you sign your bail, review the conditions with your lawyer or duty counsel.

Examples of bail conditions

Your release documents will include conditions. For example, you may:

  • need to live at a specific address or with a specific person (i.e. your surety)
  • have to stay in the province and deposit your passport
  • have to notify the officer in charge of your case of any changes in your job, or address
  • not be allowed to communicate with specific people
  • not be allowed to go to specific places
  • not be allowed to go around specific people
  • have to report to the police or bail program at specific times
  • not be allowed to have weapons
  • not be allowed to have drugs except with a valid prescription in your name

Ask questions if you don't understand

Make sure you understand what you're agreeing to. Ask questions if you're not sure what something means.

The conditions should be clear. Both you and anyone else who has to read your conditions (including other police officers) must be able to easily understand what is expected of you.

What no contact means

It's common for release documents to have a no contact condition. This condition says that you're not allowed to contact the other people involved in the case, such as the complainant or the co-accused.

A no contact condition usually says:

“Do not communicate directly or indirectly with the following people…”

Direct communication includes talking to someone in person, talking on the phone, sending text messages to people, and similar ways of communicating.

The meaning of indirect communication is less clear. If you post something on social media that the person you're not allowed to communicate with can see, you may be communicating indirectly. Indirect communication also includes asking friends or relatives to give other people messages for you. 

A no contact condition usually means that you should not:

  • talk in person
  • talk on the phone
  • send text messages
  • post tweets directed at the person named in the no contact order
  • post Facebook status updates or comments directed at the person named in the no contact order
  • send messages through any social media outlets such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
  • send emails
  • ask other people to give the person a message

But it is possible to have exceptions to these conditions. Any exceptions to the standard understanding of a no contact condition must be clearly stated in your bail papers. If there is an exception, make sure that you understand exactly what you can and can’t do.  For example, sometimes contact may be allowed with the person’s permission or if a particular person is there during the contact.     

You May Also Need

Legal Aid Ontario, LawFacts
Department of Justice
Reviewed: July 1, 2018

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