The law is a complex and daunting beast, especially for those of us who are not lawyers. In particular, the Criminal Code can seem especially scary thanks to all those sections on how to get out of jail. What if you’ve been arrested and want to know what your bail conditions will be? How do you find out if you need a local bail bondsman?
What is Bail?
Bail is typically cash or some other type of property that someone pays in order to be released from prison so that he or she can remain free pending trial proceedings. The amount of bail that you need to post is based on the charges against you, with higher bail for more serious offences.
What Are My Bail Options?
Your bail options include posting a cash bond or posting an appearance bond for a set amount of money (with the understanding that you will return to court at some point). On the other hand, your bail options may be limited if the offence is under Provincial Court jurisdiction and you are arrested by a peace officer or in certain circumstances. Also, if your charge involves violating a court order (such as breaking curfew or paying child support) then your bail option may be a “no-bail” option.
Bail or No Bail?
If you are pregnant, have no previous criminal convictions, and are charged with a non-violent offence the Court is more likely to release you on a cash bail. On the other hand, if you pose a significant risk of committing another crime or failing to appear at your trial then the Court is less likely to set you free. In these cases, some Courts require that an appearance bond be posted. Appearance bonds typically are larger than cash bonds. A bail hearing (and your ability to get out of jail) can be influenced by whether you have a criminal record and how many charges are against you.
For example, if you have a serious criminal record and you are charged with a new crime then you may be detained until trial. Similarly, if there are several charges against you then the Court may detain you. After all, it is important that those who break the law do not remain at large without punishment. There has to be some sort of incentive for those accused of breaking the law to return to court when needed. Even if detention is not warranted based on your history, a judge may well decide that pre-trial detention is appropriate in your case because you pose too much risk as a flight risk or as a danger to others.