How will the court decide if I get bail?

2. Learn about the ladder principle

The court uses an approach called the .

At the bottom of the ladder is a . At the top of the ladder is . Each step up the ladder restricts your freedom more than the last. When deciding what step on the ladder is appropriate, the court will consider:

  • the circumstances of the alleged
  • whether you were already on a type of release, and
  • whether you have failed to comply with previous releases.

The ladder principle allows the court to choose the level of supervision that is justified by your situation.

Grounds of detention

The court must only restrict your freedom as much as it must to satisfy the risks of letting you out on bail. These risks are referred to as grounds of 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 .

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.

If you’re charged with another offence while you’ve been released, the Crown will usually move up the ladder when considering your next release. The Crown may also apply to cancel your previous release. You may have to go for a new based on all your outstanding charges.

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