1. Understand the grounds of detention

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What is bail?
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1. Understand the grounds of detention

The Crown may be concerned about the risks of letting you out on bail. These risks are referred to as grounds of detention or reasons why you should not be let out on bail.

The Crown considers 3 grounds of detention:

  • Primary – You may not go to court when required.
  • Secondary – You may commit another crime, or the public may not be safe while you're out on bail.
  • Tertiary – Because of the circumstances of your offence, the public might feel that the justice system is not working if you’re let out of custody.

To have a reason not to let you out on bail, the Crown only needs to be concerned about one of the grounds of detention.

Before your hearing begins, the Crown will tell your lawyer which type of risk the Crown is concerned about with you. Your bail plan should explain how you will address the Crown’s concerns about releasing you.

You will only be kept in custody if the judge or justice of the peace is not satisfied that your bail plan addresses the grounds of detention.

The judge or justice of the peace will make their decision using the ladder principle. The ladder principle states that your freedom should only be restricted as much as it must be to satisfy the concerns of the court.

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Legal Aid Ontario, LawFacts
Reviewed: July 1, 2018

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