3. Understand what happens at your bail hearing

My partner is abusing me, but what happens if the police charge me?
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3. Understand what happens at your bail hearing

If the police do not release you from the police station, you will be kept in jail for a bail hearing. At the bail hearing the judge or justice of the peace decides if you should remain in custody until your case is dealt with, or whether you should be released.

At the bail hearing, the Crown Attorney may ask for certain bail conditions. Bail conditions are also called terms of release. Usually, when the charge is not very serious and the court believes that the person will show up at future court dates, they are released with conditions. The conditions depend on your situation.

Common bail conditions in partner abuse cases say that you:

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

You have to wait until your paperwork is complete before you are released on bail. You have to sign documents saying that you agree to follow your bail conditions. If you have a surety, they also have to sign documents that say they will call the police if you don't follow your conditions.

If one of your conditions says you cannot go home, you have to find somewhere else to live.

It is important that you follow your bail conditions, even if your partner tells you not to. The police and the courts take bail conditions seriously. If you don't follow them, you can be arrested, charged with a new crime, and face a new bail hearing. After the new hearing, you might be released on stricter bail conditions.

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

Family court

If you also have a family court case, 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 you can pick up the children from home for access. But if your bail conditions say that you cannot come within 100 meters of your home, then the orders conflict because they say different things. This means either your access arrangements need to be changed in family court, or your bail conditions need to be changed in criminal court.

You May Also Need

Legal Aid Ontario, LawFacts
Reviewed: August 31, 2017

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