The purpose of setting a bail in a criminal case is twofold: to ensure the criminal defendant’s appearance at trial and to lessen–or altogether eliminate–any danger that the criminal defendant might pose to the public-at-large.
At Bourdon Defence, we understand that judicial officers often set unreasonably high bails and excessive pre-release conditions. Essentially, this translates into hefty expenses, unreasonable limitations on personal freedom, or long periods of incarceration prior to the actual court date for the underlying offence. The knowledgeable criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence regularly advocate for our clients at bail hearings and can help them obtain the best result possible.
The Booking Process
Once a criminal defendant arrives at the detention facility, the booking process begins. This process usually involves fingerprinting, obtaining all the defendant’s personal information, taking booking photographs, confiscating the defendant’s personal items, medical screenings, and placing the defendant in a holding cell. While the booking process is ongoing, the prosecutor prepares a complaint or statement.
Calgary criminal defendants may be required to post bail to ensure their appearance at a court date scheduled for some time in the near future. If the defendant posts the bail–or contacts a surety to post the bail on his/her behalf–the defendant’s release is processed, and the defendant must appear for the scheduled court date. If the defendant fails to appear for the scheduled court date, the judge will almost certainly issue a warrant for the defendant’s immediate arrest.
Instead of a bail, the defendant may be released on his/her own personal recognizance. These determinations are made at the bail hearing.
In making these bail/release determinations, the following factors may be considered:
- The defendant’s ties to the community, including his/her employment status
- The defendant’s level of potential danger to the public-at-large
- Whether the defendant poses a potential flight risk
- Whether the defendant has a prior criminal record
- Whether the defendant has any open cases or pending court dates
- Whether the defendant is currently on probation or parole in another criminal case
- Whether the defendant has previously been convicted of any violent crimes
- Whether the defendant is a registered sex offender
- Whether the defendant has failed to appear in court on any prior occasions