For almost every person who is detained (not released by the police) upon their arrest, the bail hearing is their most important day in court.

Although we are all constitutionally guaranteed reasonable bail under our constitution, it does not mean that an accused will be released automatically. If a person is denied bail, then they will either have to await their trial in custody (which will likely be months away), or they will need to apply for a review (appeal) of the bail decision to the Superior Court.

Since no one wants to remain in custody, and a bail review can be very expensive and takes time to prepare, neither of these options are preferable and must be avoided if possible. Therefore, the best way to approach the bail hearing is with the assistance of experienced legal counsel.

Criminal lawyers are often available 24 hours a day in these emergencies and you can call one (including our firm) to arrange a bail hearing for the next day.

A surety is required in most cases when a person seeks bail.

To be granted bail, a person is typically released in the care and responsibility of a surety who pledges a certain amount of money for their release. The surety can stand to lost this amount if the person breaches any of the court’s “conditions of release” or “recognizance” while they are on bail. Sureties are very important and will often be the deciding factor on whether or not a person is released.

The surety checklist:

Here is a checklist for someone intending to propose themselves as a surety in Court:

  1. No criminal record;
  2. Over the age of 21;
  3. An ability to supervise the accused to a degree required by the Court;
  4. An amount of money in savings or equity they can pledge to the Court as security of their promise;
  5. A capacity to understand and enforce the conditions the Court imposes;
  6. An ability to attend court on the day of the bail hearing in a punctual manner;

Keep in mind that none of the factors above are determinative of whether or not a person can be a surety, but assist the court and lawyer in ensuring that the plan of release is a responsible one. Once you have your sureties, you need to decide whether or not you wish to retain private counsel or use Legal Aid lawyers (duty counsel) for your bail hearing.

The advantage of using duty counsel lawyers is that they are provided to you at no cost. However, duty counsel are often very busy and may not be able to cater to your needs as specifically as a privately retained counsel. The cost of a bail hearing ranges depending on the charges, the lawyer you retain, etc.

What does it cost to bail someone out?

The cost of bailing someone out is one of the most common questions we hear as lawyers.

There are two aspects to this:

First, there is rarely a need for a “cash bail”.  This means that even though the Court will ask you to secure your promise with some sort of security (i.e., a financial pledge), it is not typically something the Court requires up front. There are some occasions where cash is required, but it is rare and should be dealt with by specific legal advice.

In most instances, the pledge will depend on the seriousness of the charges.  For example, a simple assault charge may require a $3000.00 pledge; whereas a first degree murder charge may require much more.  The Court will decide what is an appropriate amount if the release is granted.

The second aspect to costs of bail hearings are lawyer fees.

In every jurisdiction in Ontario, there is state-funded “duty counsel” who will conduct most bail hearings at no cost.  While certainly an option, private counsel is able to spend far more time and focus on a case.  Duty counsel are often very talented at bail hearings, but they are also balancing many cases on a single day and therefore often unable to provide the attention a client might hope for in these instances.

The fees that private lawyers will charge depends on the lawyer but typically they range between $1000.00 to $2000.00 in fees. In truth, this may be the best value money can by given the importance of the situation and the consequences if a bail hearing does not go favourably.

When children commit crimes, whether it’s shoplifting or assault and battery, their cases are typically heard in juvenile court, where the emphasis is on counseling and rehabilitation versus hard time. The common belief is that juveniles still have a lot of time to mature and become functioning members of society, along with concerns that adult prisons are no place for a minor.

The following is background information about juvenile justice, including how “juvenile” is defined, trying juveniles as adults, and more.

Legal Definition of Juvenile

 The precise legal definition of a “juvenile delinquent” or “young offender” is someone between 12 and 17 years of age who through the due process of law has been found to have violated criminal legislation and is therefore subject to punishments determined by a youth court. 

How Young is Too Young to Be Held Liable?

As well as having upper age limits, juvenile jurisdictions also have lower age limits. Most provinces specify that prior to age six or seven, juveniles lack mens rea, or criminal intent. At this young age, juveniles also are thought to lack the ability to tell right from wrong, or dolci incapax.

The age of the offender at the time the offense was committed typically determines jurisdiction. But in some provinces, age refers to the offender’s age at the time of apprehension. This arrangement allows for the sometimes lengthy periods it takes to clear a case.

Trying Juveniles as Adults

One’s status as a juvenile or as an adult is pertinent for the court’s determination of the jurisdiction under which an offender falls: the adult or the juvenile court system. If it’s decided that a juvenile will be tried in a juvenile court, most provinces allow the juvenile to remain under that jurisdiction until the defendant’s 21st birthday.

Relying on age as a sole determinant for adulthood has been criticized by many criminologists and policy makers since individuals develop at different rates. Some youth are far more mature at 17 or 18 than are some adults. Because of this discrepancy, juvenile court judges have been given broad discretion to waive juveniles to adult court for trial and sentencing.

In rare situations, the courts also have the power to emancipate a juvenile in a civil proceeding so that they become an adult under the law and are granted certain adult privileges. For example, if a 17-year-old loses both parents and has no other living relatives, they could be emancipated in order to pursue custody of their younger siblings.

Have Questions About Juvenile Justice? Contact an Attorney

The juvenile justice system operates differently from the one used to try adult cases, mostly as a way to protect children and hopefully guide them to make better choices as they get older. But regardless of whether your case is in adult or juvenile court, legal representation can make a big difference in the outcome. For this reason, you should consider reaching out to a local criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with a crime.

What counts as impaired driving

Impaired driving means operating a vehicle (including cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles and off-road vehicles) while your ability to do so has been compromised to any degree by consuming alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two.

Fully Licensed Drivers

Throughout Canada, the maximum legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for fully licensed drivers is to be under 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, or 0.08. Driving with  a BAC of 0.08 or over is a criminal offence and the penalties are severe.

In Ontario, you will also face serious consequences if your BAC is between 0.05 and 0.08. This is commonly referred to as the “warn range.”

If police determine that you are driving while impaired by any drug, including illegal drugs, cannabis, prescription and over-the-counter medications, you will face severe consequences and criminal charges.

Canada has a law of prohibiting its citizens to drive when drunk. This is to prevent any road related crime due to alcohol.

DWI or driving while intoxicated is a criminal act, too. This is strictly implemented and charges when caught driving under the influence can be serious. Below are the consequences when you get a DUI in the country:

What Happens When You Get A DUI In Canada

1. Criminal Conviction

Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a criminal offense. Thus, one of the consequences of the Canadian impaired driving law is being charged with a criminal conviction on the record of the offender.

Most prosecutions of DUI charges in the country lead to summary convictions, while sometimes they are also prosecuted as an indictment.

2. Jail Time And/Or Fines

The charge on your first offers when found guilty with DWI is that you will be fined with $1,000. However, if you get the same offense again within 10 years after the first one, it will result in being arrested and put to jail for a minimum of 30 days.

Subsequent penalties will cause you to be put in jail for at least 120 days. Moreover, when the prosecution is pursued as a summary conviction, the sentenace can be as long as 18 months.

3. Suspension Of License

What happens when you get a DUI in Canada is that your driver’s licensed will also be revoked. On your first offense, you won’t be able to drive for at least one year. On the second time of conviction, your licensed will be revoked for at least two years, and at least three years on the third case.

4. Additional Fines

Charges when caught driving under the influence also include having to pay other additional fees due to conviction which the amount may be between $500 to $2,000 on your first offense. On the second, aside from being put to jail, you may still need to pay fines on top of the arrest.

5. Restricted Entry

When you have a record of DUI or DWI in the United States in the past 10 years, you may have the chance not to be allowed to enter Canada. Since DUI is considered a criminal offense, one who is charged with DUI is only allowed to enter the country when claimed to be rehabilitated.

The consequences of the Canadian impaired driving law may be quite serious and can result to inconvenience for years. Thus, when charged with a DWI offense for whatever reasons, contact a DUI lawyer to help you plead and be free from the record of such crime.