2. Make sure you understand the conditions of your release

Can the police make me sign conditions when they let me go?
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2. Make sure you understand the conditions of your release

Examples of release conditions

The release documents will say what you're allowed to do. For example, release documents may say that you must:

  • remain in the province
  • notify the police if your job or address changes
  • not communicate with specific people
  • not go to specific places
  • report to the police at specific times
  • not possess any weapons
  • not possess any drugs except with a valid prescription in your name

Ask questions if you don't understand

Review the conditions of your release with the police officer before you sign the release documents. 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 any police officer who may become aware of your conditions must be able to easily understand what is expected of you.

By signing the release documents, you agree to follow the conditions for your release. You can ask for your release conditions to be changed at a later date.

What “no contact or communication” means

It's common for release documents to have a “no contact or communication with” condition. This condition says that you are not allowed to have any contact with the other people involved, such as the complainant and co-accused.

A no contact or communication condition usually says:

“Do not contact or 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, sending emails, or other electronic contact.

The meaning of indirect communication is less obvious. If you post something on social media and the person you're not allowed to communicate with can see what you posted, you may be communicating indirectly. Indirect communication also includes asking friends to give messages for you.

A no contact or communication condition usually means that you should not:

  • meet with the person
  • 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 emails
  • ask other people to give the person a message

What the police are allowed to do

It is important that you understand all of the conditions you're being asked to follow. You must do everything that you promised to do when you signed your release documents.

If you don't, you can be arrested and charged with failing to comply. If that happens, you will be held in custody until your bail hearing. At the bail hearing, you will have to show the court why you should be released while your criminal charges are being considered by the court.

You May Also Need

Legal Aid Ontario, LawFacts
Reviewed: December 31, 2016

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