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Will the Accused Be Released?

Police and the courts must take the safety of a victim into account when making decisions about release and conditions for release.

The police often release an arrested person soon after charging them. Only the court can order that the accused stay in jail for longer than 24 hours. A court may order the police to keep an accused person in jail until a later date, even until a trial. There must be good reason to keep a person in custody. For more information about the process see Release by Police and Bail.

Depending on the situation, there may be a long time between when a person is charged and when the matter is finally resolved in court. If the person does not plead guilty they will appear in court a number of times before a date is set for a hearing. Depending on the complexity of the case, the trial itself can take some time and there may be adjournments.

During this time you may have concerns about your safety if the accused person is not kept in jail. If you do have these concerns, make them known to the police or Crown Prosecutor. A victim's safety will be considered by the police and the courts when deciding whether to release someone and in deciding what, if any, conditions should be put on their release. The person can be required to not contact the victim and to comply with other conditions such as not possessing any weapons.

It may help to remember that under Canadian law people are presumed to be innocent until they plead guilty or the charges are proven in court. If the person charged is released, it does not mean that there is not a good case against the person. In most cases Canadian law presumes that a person should be free while waiting for a trial unless there are extraordinary reasons to keep them in custody.

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About PLEA

PLEA gratefully acknowledges our primary core funder the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for their continuing and generous support of our organization.