Bail and release from custody
Why get a lawyer?
Should I get a lawyer when I'm arrested?
Your lawyer may be able to negotiate the terms of release from the police station or those to be recommended by police to the Crown Attorney at a bail hearing. This could be the key to obtaining a release order rather than a detention order.
Do I need a lawyer for my bail hearing?
While a state-funded lawyer (duty counsel) may be available to assist you with a bail hearing at no cost, it may be helpful to hire a lawyer for the following reasons:
It is important to get it right the first time.
If your bail hearing is unsuccessful and you are ordered detained, you may apply to a higher court for a review of the detention order. But it may be a few weeks before a "bail review" can be launched and there is no guarantee that a higher court will order your release. And a bail review can be costly.
Securing the release of an accused can be critical to the successful defence of a charge. Often, persons who are ordered detained plead guilty because they are desperate to get out of jail.
It is much easier for an accused and his lawyer to prepare for trial if the accused is out of custody. Custody encumbers communication between the accused and his lawyer, who is restricted to jail visits at certain hours. Telephone access is not always available. In addition, jail visits may entail increased legal fees.
Further, an accused who is out of custody can participate in counselling and treatment that may help achieve a lighter sentence in the event he is found guilty or even assist in getting the Crown to drop the charges.
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