A bail hearing is a court process whereby the judge decides whether a defendant can be released from jail pending their court date. If you aren’t able to afford bail, it can place a great hardship on your family, your finances, and your criminal record in the future. A professional criminal defense lawyer can enhance the likelihood that you will be awarded bail, so that you can return home to your family and your responsibilities.
Surety and cash deposits
Courts will either ask for surety or for cash deposits. A “cash deposit” is a lump sum of money that a defendant pays to the court to ensure that they will return for their court date. If the person returns as promised, the cash deposit will be returned. The monies are returned to the defendant regardless of whether they are proven guilty or found not guilty. A “surety” is when the court appoints someone to watch over the defendant to ensure that they make their scheduled court date, and that they follow all the conditions of their bail.
If the court appoints a surety, they have to pledge money to the court. If the accused person does not show up for their court hearing, the person who promised the surety forfeits their cash deposit. In surety bonds the money does not usually have to be paid in advance, but the note will be called due if the defendant does not show up for their court date. Whether a judge decides to order a surety or cash deposit bail typically depends on the severity of the crime and the factors of the defendant.
What are the conditions of bail?
● While an individual is out on bail, they have an obligation to
behave in an appropriate manner, and stay out of trouble
● If you are out on bail, you are not allowed to leave or move from your address without first getting court permission
● Someone out on bail is to have no contact with alleged victims or those who are named as co-accused parties, either through no-contact orders or no-attendance orders
● While out on bail you must refrain from using alcohol, if alcohol was involved in the alleged crime
● Those out on bail must abide by a curfew, which can range anywhere from 12 AM until 6 AM, with the exception of work hours
● If you are out on bail you must show up for court on your scheduled court dates.
When can bail be denied?
There are times when judges will not grant a defendant bail. There are three conditions under which a judge can deny bail:
- The primary (or first) condition is when the judge believes that there is a good likelihood that the defendant won’t appear in court because they reside outside of the jurisdiction where the charges are held
- The secondary (or second) condition is if the judge believes that there is a great likelihood that the defendant will tamper with the witness or seek to reoffend if they are released
- The tertiary (or third) condition is when the judge believes that the defendant would pose a public safety hazard
A bail review is a process where the defendant files an application to have the Superior Court in Manitoba review the ruling of the lower court’s decision to deny bail. Normally, the Superior Court will only reverse the decision if:
- There is a change in circumstances, such as the defendant has gone through a drug and alcohol treatment program
- There was an error in the law
If you are accused of a crime and seeking bail, it is imperative to have a criminal defense attorney walk you through the process. Being denied bail can severely affect your life, your family, and your future. Call an experienced Pinx & Co. criminal defense lawyer today, and let us help you with your bail situation.