Have you been arrested?
In British Columbia, if someone has been arrested and kept in custody by a police officer or judicial justice, they will appear before a judge in Provincial Court as soon as possible for a bail hearing (also called a “show cause” or “judicial interim release” hearing).
It is important to have an experienced lawyer at your bail hearing and not just have duty counsel speak for you. An experience lawyer such as David Karp can help you to be released on bail and speak on your behalf as the Crown Counsel will be telling the judge the reason why you were arrested along with any criminal records you may have.
In the past David Karp has been successful at bail hearings when telling the judge about your background, roots in the community such as family or a job. The judge must decide whether it is necessary to keep an arrested person in jail (“detain them in custody”), or whether they can be released with or without rules for their conduct (“conditions”).
The judge or justice must follow the law set out in section 515 of the Criminal Code. In most cases*, people charged with criminal offences have the right to be released unless the prosecutor establishes that they should be kept in jail until their trial to make sure they attend court or to protect the public.
If the prosecutor does not establish this, an accused person must be released on a bail order. Conditions (rules) may only be added to the order if the prosecutor shows they are necessary. A bail order might require:
• someone to sign as a surety (a person who guarantees the accused person’s good behaviour) and pay the amount set as bail if the accused person fails to attend or disobeys the bail order; and
• the accused person to obey rules like a curfew, restriction on areas they can enter, contact with a victim, possessing weapons and firearms, or a requirement to live at a substance abuse treatment centre.
When deciding whether detention or conditions are required, judges and justices must consider three things:
2. whether they are likely to commit crimes if released or are dangerous to the public (“the secondary ground”)
3. in some cases, whether release on bail would cause people to lose faith in the administration of justice (“the tertiary ground”)
To learn more about bail hearings and the law in BC, visit: http://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca
It is critical to get a strong lawyer right from the beginning and start planning your defence in the early stages of being charged with crime.
David Karp has had several clients who did not proceed to trial or had charges dropped after speaking to Crown about weaknesses in a case.
If you would like to have your rights protected and the best lawyer in your corner, please call David Karp today at 604-218-0840.