Bail Checklist

From Criminal Law Notebook

Initial Steps

See also: Bail Hearing (Model Examination) and Precedents, Court Forms and Checklists

Identify: 1) Accused name, 2) charges, 3) date of arrest

  • Review case synopsis, consider conflicts regarding self or others;
  • have statements of witnesses and complainant;
  • have an updated print out of the accused's criminal record;
  • consider whether any other outstanding release orders should be revoked under s. 524.
  • consider whether the accused should be assessed for fitness to stand trial under s. 672.11(a);
  • collect any available background information on the accused including history of mental illness, drug abuse, employment history, residential history, or
  • determine any concerns or safety concerns for the witnesses, complainants or victims;

Request: 1) publication ban 517, 2) no contact 516(2)

Criminal Record:

  • property: (range of time)
  • violence:
  • FTA:
  • UAL:
  • drugs or alcohol:
  • weapons:
  • breach (release or probation):


  • Crown or accused s. 515(6)
    • indictable offence while at large on another indictable offence (a)(i)
    • offence involving firearm or firearm prohibition (a)(viii)
    • not ordinarily a resident (b)
    • intimate partner offence and has been convicted for an intimate partner offence (b.1)
    • charged with an offence under 145(2) to (5) while on release/at large

Primary Grounds

Concerns as a Flight Risk
  • Ties to the community
    • friends, family, other community members
    • school, employment, church, volunteering
    • Canadian Citizenship
  • Criminal record (esp. those relating to compliance and honesty)
  • Other outstanding charges
  • History of compliance with police direction.
  • Strength of conneciton to other provinces or other countries

Secondary Grounds

the circumstances of the offence:

  • seriousness and nature of the offence
  • duration of the offence, number of offences
  • surrounding circumstances of the offence and offender
  • accused's potential culpability
  • involvement of firearms
  • degree of planning and deliberation
  • mental health issues (observable by witnesses or in video statement)
  • addiction issues
  • any other issues that suggest dangerousness
  • suicidal tendencies
  • consciousness of guilt
  • physical and emotional impact of the incident upon the victim
  • likelihood of lengthy sentence
  • strength of the Crown's case[1]
  • risk or harm to victim
  • accused's criminal record
  • previous outstanding release conditions
  • history of abiding by court orders and conditions

Tertiary Grounds

Seriousness of the offence
  • heinous offence
  • serious violence
  • vulnerability of victims
  • strength of case (quality and quantity of evidence available)
  • high-end range of penalty, presence of mandatory minimum

Surrounding Circumstances
  • presence of violence
  • involvement of others
  • accused's role
  • vulnerability of victim
  • personal circumstances of accused
Confidence of the Public
  • confidence of a "reasonable, informed and dispassionate public...properly informed of the philosophy of the relevant legislative provisions, Charter values, and the actual circumstances of the case".
  • the person should be mindful of:
    • the presumption of innocence,
    • the prohibition against punishment through pre-trial custody before a fair trial.
    • that waiting for trial may last many months and "can have a significantly adverse affect on the life of the accused person and her or his family – resulting, for example, in loss of employment or interruption of education"
    • that "[t]he poor may be more likely to be detained than those accused persons with greater financial resources."
    • that "Pre-trial detention can significantly complicate the ability of an accused person to prepare their defence"
    • that release should be assessed "in light of their antecedents and the support available to them from family, friends and the broader community"
    • The perspective of an "excitable" or "irrational" citizen should not be taken into account.
    • Public concern and fear of public safety;
    • Confidence can be undermined not only by a failure to detain but also "if it orders detention where detention is not justified."
    • the significance of the liberty of the subject;
    • that granting of bail must be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that there are "no offences for which bail is automatically prohibited"

that "the vast majority of those who are charged with criminal offences are granted bail and do not abscond or commit further offences while on release"

See Also