3. Prepare to turn yourself in

What happens if I miss my court date for a criminal offence?
This question has an answer and 4 steps
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3. Prepare to turn yourself in

If you can't get the bench warrant cancelled, prepare to turn yourself in. It's better to turn yourself in than to wait for the police to pick you up.

After you turn yourself in, the police may not let you leave. This is called being held in custody. So, before you go to the police station, prepare to be held in custody for a bail hearing.

Don't bring personal property

Don't bring any personal property to the police station that you aren't prepared to leave with the police.

If you are not released right away, the police will hold your personal property until you:

  • get bail, or
  • give permission for someone to pick up your property.

Don't bring your car

You may want to have someone give you a ride to the station. If you don't bring your car, you won't have to arrange to have it moved if you aren't released.

Write down important phone numbers

The police may take your cell phone as evidence, or put it in your property bag while you're in custody. This can make it difficult for you to look up the phone numbers of family and friends. That is why it is so important that you write down the phone numbers before you go to the police station.

Write down the phone numbers of family or friends who would be willing to be a surety at your bail hearing. If you don't have a surety, you might not get bail.

A surety is someone who agrees to supervise you while you're in the community on bail. Your surety is responsible for you.

It may even be a good idea to talk to people who may be willing to be your surety before you turn yourself in. That way they will be prepared if you phone them later from the police station.

You May Also Need

Legal Aid Ontario
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
Reviewed: November 20, 2017

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