Getting Released After Being Arrested
After a person is arrested by the police for an alleged criminal act, a decision will be made whether to release the person or hold them for a bail hearing.
If the police decide to release the person, it will be by way of a “Promise to Appear“ signed by the accused that he or she agrees to attend court on the date stated in the document. The person may also have to sign an “Undertaking Given to a Police Officer“ to do or refrain from doing certain things until the matter is dealt with by the court. If a person under the age of 18 years is charged, his or her parent or guardian will also be notified.
The police may decide to hold the person for a bail hearing if certain offences have been alleged. Offences which are commonly dealt with by way of a recognizance of bail are alleged domestic assaults and breaches of court orders.
A person being arrested and held for a bail hearing will be detained until the next bails court. Every person has the right to appear before the court within 24 hours of arrest. In Simcoe, bails court is held every weekday at 1:30pm. If the person is arrested on the weekend they will be taken to the nearest bails court, usually at Brantford.
Provided that the person being held has not been charged with a breach, the Crown usually has to show the Court why that person should not be released. In these circumstances, the Crown will usually consent to a release with a suitable surety or, in the case of a minor, into the care of a responsible person. If the person has been accused of breaching court orders, then that person has the responsibility to show why the Court should release him or her. If the Crown objects to their release the Court will hold a bail hearing to decide if the accused should be released.
The person acting as a surety is a ’guarantor’ for the accused. He or she must agree to take on certain responsibilities. They must be able to make a pledge of money payable to the court if the accused person breaches a condition of bail. They should not have criminal matters pending before the court, and it is preferable that they have no prior criminal record. Further, they must agree to be the ’eyes and ears’ of the court to ensure that the person obeys the terms of the recognizance of bail and attends court until the matter is dealt with by a judge or is formally withdrawn. They must also agree to call the police if they know that the person is breaching a condition of their bail release.
If the Court agrees that the person is suitable to be a surety for the accused, the accused will be released when the surety signs the recognizance of bail. Provided that the accused obeys the bail conditions, he or she will be out of custody until their criminal matter is dealt with on a final basis by the court.