What is Bail?
When a person is charged with a criminal offence, they may be released on “bail”, which simply means they are released while await trial. Often times, there are a number of conditions imposed as terms of release. Breach of any of these conditions is a criminal offence. To avoid a breach charge, an accused person can often seek to vary the bail to alter or to completely remove the restrictive conditions imposed.
How Do You Change the Conditions of Your Bail?
There are two key ways you can attempt to have your bail terms amended. The most convenient and cost effective is to obtain the consent of the Crown. If the Crown refuses to consent the accused can bring a bail review application to the Superior Court. This involves significantly more legal costs than the bail variation by Crown consent and is only proceeded with if absolutely necessary. A bail review application is governed by s. 520 Criminal Code. The following provides a general overview of this method:
When making a request of the Crown to consent to a bail variation, an explanation as to why the variation is needed or is appropriate will be required.
It should be noted that in domestic altercations the accused and the complainant often will want to re-unite or communicate while the charges are pending. The Crown seldom consents to this request for variation although on occasions some exceptions are permitted.
There are numerous cases where an accused has agreed to conditions without really considering their impact just to get released from custody. Many times the conditions are onerous and unreasonable, especially in cases where there is release directly from the police station with an undertaking. Making the right presentation to the Crown attorney is essential in order to persuade him/her to consent. The request should include the background of the accused, the reason or need for the change, or the complete inappropriateness of the condition in the first place. At Daley, Byers we have had extensive success in dealing with bail variation matters.