Are bail hearings different if I’m Indigenous?

4. Go to your bail hearing

A bail hearing is not a . A is where the court decides whether you can be released on while your case is before the court.

You might be released on your own, with the supervision of a Bail Program, or with the supervision of a surety. The court must consider the least strict release first. This is sometimes called the “ladder of release”.

Sometimes the Crown agrees to release you without having a bail . This is often called a “consent release”.

Even when there is no bail hearing and the Crown consents to your release, there will still be bail conditions. Your lawyer or should ask for bail conditions that are appropriate and as minimal as possible.

Bail conditions are rules that you must follow while you're out on bail waiting for your trial. For example, you might not be allowed to:

  • communicate with the  or alleged victim
  • communicate with your 
  • go within a specific distance of a specific place, person, or persons

You might also have to:

  • live at a specific address
  • stay at home during specific hours, usually overnight
  • follow the rules of a 

Your bail conditions should be related to the specific allegations and crimes you have been charged with. Your lawyer or duty counsel should confirm that you can follow those rules and should only agree on your behalf to bail conditions that are necessary and relevant.

Even if you share information about your personal background, the court should not make you attend rehabilitative programs or medical treatment unless you agree to them. This is because, at the bail stage, you're .

If you don't agree with a bail condition, speak to your lawyer or duty counsel before signing the bail order. Your lawyer or duty counsel might advise you to agree to the conditions to get bail, and then try to change the conditions later once you're out of .

If you met with the Indigenous court worker, one of your bail conditions might be to try your best to follow your release plan, if you have one.

If you're denied bail, speak to your lawyer or duty counsel about a in Superior Court. To be eligible for a bail review, you must be able to prove that:

  • there has been a significant change in your circumstances, or
  • an error of law was made during your original bail hearing. For example, not applying the Gladue principles is an error of law.

If you don't have a lawyer, speak to duty counsel about applying for Legal Aid while in custody. If you want a bail review, you will probably need to hire a lawyer because duty counsel don't usually help with bail review applications.

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