Bail Review

Where an accused person was ordered detained by a Justice of the Peace at a bail hearing, section 520 of the Criminal Code allows a judge of the Superior Court of Justice to quash the decision and order the accused released on bail. Mr. Clark has conducted countless such Bail Review proceedings, successfully securing clients’ release in a variety of serious cases including the alleged discovery of a loaded handgun in a moving vehicle.

Bail Reviews require the accused to follow cumbersome procedures well beyond attending a bail hearing in the lower court, including drafting, serving and filing a variety of court documents and obtaining a Judge’s Order to have the jail bring the inmate to court. These procedures can be time consuming but they are routine for the office of an experienced criminal lawyer. It is difficult to see how accused persons without counsel could even avail themselves of the Bail Review provisions of the Criminal Code. The requisite court documents include affidavits from proposed sureties, and a transcript from the lower court proceeding under review. That said, in Mr. Clark’s experience the chance of success on a Bail Review is high. This experience  of the good prospects for release was once confirmed by a Justice of the Peace in open court at a bail hearing Mr. Clark conducted. His Worship cited statistics to confirm a high rate of release on Bail Reviews in the course of granting release to a client of Mr. Clark’s who had a lengthy history of breaching bail conditions but was still ‘releasable’ with a proper surety.

The essential task at a Bail Review remains the same as on a Bail Hearing in the lower court: to present the Court with a Release Plan and Sureties that ensures the accused will re-attend court and abide by the conditions imposed.

Success is the result of advanced preparation based on experience. Mr. Clark has spent years preparing sureties for bail hearings and bail reviews, working closely with all involved with a seasoned anticipation of what the Court will likely be most concerned about and, therefore, what is necessary to secure the accused’s release on bail.

Call for a free consultation: 416.531.7321.


Bail Pending Appeal

An accused who has been convicted and sentenced and initiates an appeal from conviction and/or sentence also apply for bail pending appeal. As on a Bail Review (see above), the Appellant seeking bail pending appeal must present the Court with a viable Release Plan, through procedures far more onerous than those governing bail hearings in the lower courts. Again it is difficult to see how accused persons without counsel could ever avail themselves of these provisions of the Criminal Code.

Through procedures similar to those required for Bail Review (see above), the Appellant seeking bail pending appeal must present the Court with a viable Release Plan. In addition, however, the appellant must demonstrate that there is merit – an arguable issue at stake on the appeal. This is a prerequisite to even being eligible for a consideration for release pending appeal.

With respect to merit, the Appellant need only demonstrate that the appeal is “not frivolous”. Demonstrating a higher degree of merit can enhance the prospect of release. The Court is at all times balancing the competing concerns to reach a result that is “in the interests of justice”. In some cases the factors in play can go beyond the strength of the appeal and quality of the Release Plan to include issues such as the unfair disadvantages faced by first nations and other persons living in small rural communities.

Having maintained an appellate as well as trial practice throughout his career, Mr. Clark has secured release for many appellants through the years, combining the general practices of preparing Sureties and crafting Release Plans with the somewhat more specialized understanding of appellate law and procedures applicable at both the Superior Court of Justice (Summary Conviction appeals) and the Court of Appeal for Ontario (Indictable appeals).

Call for a free consultation: 416.531.7321.