Following an arrest and criminal charges, you may be released immediately, from the police station or following a court appearance.
If you are arrested without a warrant and the crime you are charged with is not murder or another very serious crime, the police will release you unless it is likely that …
If none of these apply the police must release you as soon as possible.
Depending on your circumstances, there are a variety of ways you may be released.
Summons or Appearance Notice – A document telling you where and when you have to appear in court.
Promise to Appear – A document you sign agreeing to appear in court on a certain date and time.
Recognizance without Deposit – You agree to pay up to $500 if you do not appear in court but do not have to actually pay the money into court.
Recognizance with Deposit – You agree to pay up to $500 if you do not appear in court and deposit the money with the court. This can only be required by the police if you live out of the province or more than 200 km from where you were arrested.
When the police impose conditions they need to use choose the least severe conditions needed for your case and consider how difficult it may be for you to comply with any conditions.
If you are arrested with a warrant and the crime you are charged with is not murder or a very serious offence, the police can also release you by any of these means. If you are arrested with a warrant the police can also require you to sign an undertaking with conditions. These conditions can include…
When making decisions about release the police must pay particular attention to the circumstances of an accused who is Indigenous or from a vulnerable population that is over-represented in the justice system.
If the police keep you in jail, you will get a bail hearing before a judge or a Justice of the Peace (JP). If a JP or judge is available the police must bring you before a one as soon as possible, and in any event, no later than 24 hours after your arrest. If a JP or judge is not available within 24 hours, the police must bring you before one “as soon as possible” (even if it is more than 24 hours later).
If you are being held by the police they help you call what is called the Brydges Line. You will get legal advice over the phone. There is no cost for this service and it is available for anyone being held by the police.
More information about bail hearings is available here.
PLEA can provide you with information to help you understand many legal matters you, a family member or friend may be facing.