In order to have bail conditions amended several steps need to take place. The best way to have your bail conditions changed is through a consent to bail variation pursuant to section 515.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada. If an accused is unrepresented, they can fill out the form to the best of their ability, however, it is strongly recommend that experienced counsel draft the application and argument on your behalf. If you are unsure how to proceed, you can avail the services of Smordin Law, the leading criminal lawyers in Hamilton.
An accused’s odds of having their bail varied depends on what they are asking to be amended, the seriousness of their charge, and their argument. It is important to keep in mind that while filling out the bail variation to be as specific as possible. If for example, an accused needs to attend doctor’s appointments or has a new job and needs permission to attend work, this type of requested is more likely granted than something frivolous.
Once the form is completed, the accused or the accused’s counsel needs to meet with the Crown attorney. When the accused or counsel sees the Crown, this is the time to advocate your case and negotiate the terms. It is important to have clear reasons why the Crown should grant this variation. The Crown will either approve the request, deny the request, or ask for time to review the matter.
If the accused is successful, the variation must be brought to the Justice of Peace’s office to have the bail variation complete. Once the matter is complete, the accused will be given a new copy of the amended bail conditions.
It is highly recommended that you apply for a bail variation as soon as possible. Waiting until the last minute can be detrimental. Firstly, you may not get a meeting with a Crown attorney for weeks. Second, the Justice of the Peace who released the accused on bail is the one who needs to approve the variation. The availability of the Justice of the Peace to sign the variation is also crucial.
It is also vital to carry a copy of the bail papers on you at all times. New terms may not be on the police system quickly and the only way to prove that you have a new term or a changed term is to show the police your new bail papers if you are questioned.