Vancouver Criminal Law – Bail Hearing/First Appearance
If the police decide to not release you on a “Promise to Appear” you will likely be held in custody for a bail hearing before a judge. The bail stage is arguably the most important stage throughout one’s criminal process. If the judge decides to not release you on bail, you will likely have to remain in custody pending the outcome of your trial, which is often many, many months down the road. Therefore, it is crucial to have a solid release plan to present to the judge who is deciding whether to release you on bail on not.
Bail during court proceedings is presumed to be something that a defendant is entitled to except in certain circumstances. The prosecution can only make an objection before a defendant is convicted if one or more of three conditions are met. These grounds for refusing bail are:
- That the defendant will fail to appear at court to answer his/her bail
- That the defendant will commit other offences while on bail
- To maintain confidence in the administration of justice
For those who have been released by police on a Promise to Appear, coming to court for their First Appearance can be a daunting, overwhelming, and even embarrassing experience. There are prosecutors to deal with, sheriffs ushering people in and out of the various courtrooms, and what should really be a brief appearance before a judge can easily turn into taking all day if you don’t know how to navigate through the chaos.
It is in your best interest to make your first appearance with experienced legal counsel who can assist you in attaining your disclosure and adjourning your next court appearance to an appropriate date.