Anybody who tells you that bail hearings are simple and straightforward is wrong. The philosophy we take at NLC is that if the crown is objecting to bail for our client, we must do everything necessary to secure his/her release. The case studies below illustrates some of the complexities and challenges that criminal lawyers face when representing clients at bail hearings, and as you will see from Sunny’s case, sometimes creativity is necessary and a bail hearing may not necessarily provide the solution.
Tom could have got detained, his sad but lucky story
Tom had a series of criminal convictions for property offenses and he was facing a commercial Break and Enter. The crown objected to bail based on his criminal record. As Tom was not in breach of any outstanding bail conditions, the crown had to “show cause” why he should be detained and they had some compelling arguments to detain him based on his lengthy criminal record for similar offenses. Tom’s wife consulted NLC, and we set to work examining the case. It was clear that the following would be required, if we were to have any chance of securing his release at the bail hearing:
- Did we have a strong surety who knew Tom and was familiar with the allegations and Tom’s criminal record?
- Would we be able to design a tight plan of release that would enable us to persuade the JP that Tom did not pose a threat to the public through his commission of offenses while on bail?
- Was this a case for a modest surety amount or did we need a more substantial surety?
These were burning questions, but we felt a $5,000 surety was needed and as Tom’s wife had been his surety before and there had been some problems at that time she would not be satisfactory as a standalone surety. There had been discussions prior to Tom’s arrest that his wife’s brother, James, a carpenter with no criminal record would be moving into Tom's home and would live with Tom's wife and kids. James was the ideal surety but how could Tom be supervised. Tom’s wife did night shift work while James worked during the day so we proposed the wife as an additional surety for $2,000. Tom was not working so he would be under house arrest except when in the company of one or both of his sureties. We also suggested the installation of door monitors so that his wife and his brother in law would hear the monitor if Tom stepped outside. We also removed all access to the car keys of his wife and her brother. At the hearing, we made sure both sureties were very familiar with Tom’s criminal record and the allegations. We also ensured that both sureties gave evidence that would persuade the court that they would call the police immediately if Tom breached or was about to breach any of the bail conditions as well as the loss of the surety pledge in the event of Tom breaching bail terms.
Tom was released with very strict bail conditions but he would have been detained if it was not for the meticulous, intelligent and careful planning by NLC Lawyers prior to this difficult bail hearing.
The case of Sunny, sometimes trying to get bail is not the solution
Sunny is charged with domestic assault on his estranged girlfriend. He has 3 domestic assault convictions on his ex-wife in the last 4 years prior to the relationship with his new girlfriend. He has no surety. His uncle Sam calls NLC worried over Sunny being in jail for the last 3 weeks and about to lose his job if his incarceration continues. This is a tense and critical matter for Sunny. He is losing hope, and he has to pay support for his ex-wife’s daughter who is only 4 years old who he loves enormously.
He received a 30-day jail sentence on his last assault conviction. On the “step up approach” in sentencing, the crown wants 60 days straight jail. What do we do?
We started gathering documents – letter from employer that he will lose his job if he is not released, documents from FRO to verify that he has to make support payments for his daughter, letter from his ex-wife that he is a good father and she needs the money to support their child as she only works part-time, letter from his uncle that he will accommodate Sunny and letter from Sunny expressing remorse for his actions and that he intends to go for anger management counseling and will take the PARS program (Partner Abuse counseling)
At NLC we strive to be persuasive through documentary evidence as we want the sentencing judge to know that we have documents to prove everything we say in mitigation. We consented to his detention so we could get disclosure to ensure that the evidence the crown has will be capable of proving their case. It does so we set up a meeting with the resolution crown who now says that he wants an additional 15 days jail but straight time. We take our chances with one of the good sentencing judges we know in that court, and we persuade the judge that an additional 20 day weekend jail time would be appropriate so Sunny does not lose his job. The judge agrees and Sunny keeps his job. It is through our meticulous preparation and intelligent tactical thinking that NLC Lawyers has earned a great name in the Peel, Halton, York, Toronto, Caledon and Dufferin Region.
Trust in RAJ NAPAL and NLC Lawyers for QUALITY SERVICE.