Department of Justice

Reporting a Crime

Victim Services

Bail Hearings

After laying a charge, the police must either:

  • release the accused within 24 hours, or
  • bring the accused before a Justice of the Peace or a Judge for a bail hearing within 24 hours.

For certain serious offences, the police are required to hold an accused for a bail hearing.

At the Bail Hearing

For some serious offences (such as those involving a weapon), the accused must prove why he or she should be released from jail while they wait for their trial. 

The Crown may be able to keep the accused in jail, without bail, if the Crown can show one of the following reasons is valid:

  • It will ensure the accused will attend Court.
  • It will protect the victim or the public.
  • It will maintain the public’s confidence in the administration of justice.

If the accused is released

If an accused is released from jail at a bail hearing, they are usually given conditions they must follow. These conditions might include:

  • attending Court on the scheduled date,
  • meeting with a Bail Supervisor,
  • not having contact with the victim,
  • not attending the location of the alleged offence,
  • following a curfew, or
  • not drinking or possessing alcohol.

If the accused fails to follow any of the conditions they are given, it is likely they will be charged for breaking their bail order and returned to jail.

Victim's role at the bail hearing

Prior to the bail hearing, a victim may tell the Crown Prosecutor or a Victim Services Worker about any concerns the victim may have about the accused being released. This information will be provided to the Judge at the bail hearing. 

A victim may also have to testify at the bail hearing. They can attend the hearing if they would like.

A surety: A person responsible for the accused

A surety is a person who agrees to be responsible for the accused by making sure they follow their bail conditions and attend court as required.

The surety agrees to pay a sum of money to the court if the accused does not follow the bail terms.

The surety’s employment record, family background and relationship with the accused are considered when the Judge decides whether to approve them as a surety.