What is bail?

2. Your bail plan

Your lawyer or will help you prepare your plan at the courthouse on the day of your . Your bail plan should explain how you will address the Crown's concerns about releasing you. This includes things like:

  • where you will be living
  • how you will be supervised in the community
  • who is available to help supervise you
  • what release conditions would be reasonable and necessary
  • information about your job or any courses you're taking
  • how you will address any drug use, or alcohol issues that were involved in the you've been charged with
  • how you plan on keeping track of your court dates and getting to court

Surety

Your lawyer or duty counsel can help you arrange for a person or people who can act as your if the court decides that you need one.

A surety is someone who is willing to supervise you after you're released on bail. Your surety must:

  • attend court to be approved as a surety,
  • be over the age of 18,
  • be a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant,
  • not be involved in the offence you've been charged with,
  • be able to monitor you and make sure you follow your conditions,
  • be willing to report you if you don't follow your conditions, and
  • have some financial assets they can pledge to the court as security

Your surety is required to “pledge “ a certain amount of money to the court. In most cases, this means your surety promises to pay the court money if you do not follow your bail conditions. This pledge is usually called the “quantum of the bail”, or the amount of the bail. Usually, this money does not have to be paid upfront.

If you do not follow your bail conditions, your surety is required to report you to the police. If you do not follow your bail conditions and your surety does not report you,the Crown can apply to have  your surety pay the amount of money they  pledged into court. This process is called an “”.

It is against the law to pay someone to act as a surety for you.

Bail program

If you don't have anyone you can ask to be your surety, you may be able to use the if one is available at the courthouse. Bail programs differ in the level of support they are willing to provide depending on jurisdiction.

In most cases, you will be asked to check-in with a caseworker usually once per week and to follow any other conditions they think are necessary. Sometimes you're simply required to report on an as needed basis with the program administrators. 

The bail program is usually only available to people who are not a threat to the community, and who do not have anyone they can ask to be their surety.

The bail program may not agree to supervise you if:

  • you did not follow the rules when you were in the bail program in the past
  • you failed to report as required by the bail program in the past
  • you've been charged with a serious violent crime
  • you haven't agreed to be supervised by the bail program

If you do not follow the conditions of the bail program, you may be charged with new criminal charges.

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