Bail Variations: What You Need to Know

During the initial bail hearing process, the Court will prescribe certain conditions and terms for release that must be adhered to until the case has been resolved. In some cases, these conditions present challenges for the accused and a bail variation is required.

The defendant must have their criminal defence lawyer in Toronto file variation requests and changes with the court and also submit a copy of the proposed changes to the Crown lawyer prosecuting the case. In order for the Court to agree to variations and modifications to the original bail conditions, the Crown lawyers are required to give their consent. If the court grants a variation, the newly modified terms have to also be complied with, throughout the duration of the case.

Why File a Bail Variation?

The Court has enabled the police the authority to grant bail for certain criminal charges. In these cases, the suspect does not have to appear in court in front of a judge to obtain bail. Rather, they simply have to agree to the conditions in the bail agreement to be released. It is often better to accept the terms for release than dispute them. Otherwise, if disputed, you could be held in custody until you can be taken to court for a formal bail hearing.

Another situation where a bail variation might be required is if the defendant appeared in court without legal representation from their own criminal defence lawyer. The court could have imposed certain conditions that are creating difficulties for the accused. The only way to have these conditions modified is with a bail variation hearing.

What Conditions Can Be Changed?

Since the circumstances and charges for each person tend to vary, the reasons to request a change to bail release conditions depends upon the nature of the case. For example, the defendant could have been initially required to reside with the surety for the duration of the case. However, this is creating difficulties in getting to work, spending time with children, or other such issues a variation could resolve.

However, it is worth noting even though the Crown lawyer and Court may agree to a bail variation hearing, does not guarantee the original agreement will be modified nor all of the modifications granted. In addition, you are required to comply with all terms and conditions of the original bail agreement, even if there are creating difficulties, pending the outcome of your bail variation hearing.

DISCLAIMER: The above information is provided for reference and informational purposes only and should not be considered actual legal advice. To obtain actual legal advice and learn more about the bail variation process, contact experienced Toronto criminal defence lawyer, Jeff Hershberg today by calling 416.428.7360 to schedule a consultation.