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Judicial interim release (bail) is an order of release by the Court. Bail allows a person who is accused of one or more crimes to be out of custody on various conditions while they await trial or other resolution on their matter before the Court.

Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, if you are accused and charged with a crime, you have the right to seek bail as soon as reasonably possible. You can be released on bail until your case is presented before the courts, rather than awaiting court while in custody. Conditions may be imposed to address concerns that an accused will leave the jurisdiction or not show up in court. Conditions may also be imposed where there is a risk that the offender will re-offend, based on the history between the parties and/or previous criminal records, as well as to ensure safety or security of complainants.

The Court will make the final determination on the conditions of your release and the amount (if any) that must be paid to secure the bail. The Court’s decision will be based on a number of factors, including the seriousness of the crime, past criminal record, financial status, reputation in the community and employment status of the accused, among others. Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence Firm will work in your best interest and fight for a reasonable bail amount, highlighting another reason why having proper legal representation is important from the start.


1. What is Bail?

Judicial interim release (bail) is an order of release permitting a person to be out of custody, on various conditions, while they await resolution of their matters that are before the Court. The conditions that will be imposed while you are on release will depend on a number of factors, including the character of the offender (and, sometimes, the complainant) including any previous criminal record, the strength of the Crown’s case, and the severity of the offence.

Bail is one of the most important steps to consider when you are charged with a criminal offence. It is important that you seek the assistance of a lawyer when you are arrested,  as a misstep in the bail process could result in your detention for months, or even years, prior to your matter being heard in Court.

2. Should I speak to the police about my release?

You can speak to the police about your release, although you have no obligation to do so. It is important to consult with a lawyer before you speak to the police regarding release to ensure that you do not make any statements that can negatively impact your case.

3. Can I change my conditions?

Your conditions can be subject to change, either by consent from the Crown or through an application to the Court of Queen’s Bench.

At Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence, we have assisted our clients in changing all kinds of release conditions, including varying the amount of cash bail required to secure your release, amending house arrest conditions to a curfew, or no curfew at all, and deleting conditions requiring you not to contact your spouse or not go to their residence. Speak with your lawyer at Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence about which conditions you are seeking to have removed or amended. We negotiate strategically with the Crown to determine if the Crown will consent to the requested change of conditions. If the Crown will not consent, your lawyer will prepare an application to the Court of Queen’s Bench and make fulsome submissions to make the desired change.

4. What happens if I am released?

Once released from custody, you will need to comply with the conditions that have been imposed upon you by the Court. You are bound by conditions of your release until your matter is concluded,.

If you do not comply with a condition of your release, you can be charged with a new criminal offence for breaching your conditions. This can also result in the Crown making an application to revoke your bail for any matter(s) that you were previously released on.

5. How can I improve my chances of being released?

It is important to consult with an experienced lawyer to discuss the strategy for your bail hearing. The factors which improve your chances of being release vary depending on the offence that you have been charged with, the strength of the Crown’s case and your criminal record (if any).

If you are in custody, your lawyer at Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence Firm will meet with you as well as your support network to develop a custom strategy that will give you the best opportunity to secure your release.

6. What if I'm charged with a drug or violent offence?

Regardless of the nature of your charges, you are presumed innocent, and entitled to bail unless cause can be shown as to why you should not be released.

Our team of lawyers at Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence has successfully obtained bail for our clients on all types of serious criminal charges, including:

  • Murder
  • Conspiracy to Commit Murder
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Importation of Drugs
  • Possession of Drugs for the Purposes of Trafficking (including quantities of drugs in excess of 3 kilograms)
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Production of a controlled substances (i.e. marihuana grow operations)
  • Kidnapping
  • Extortion
  • Robbery
  • Break and Enter/Home Invasion
  • Arson
  • Sexual Assault
  • Assault with a Weapon
  • Assault Causing Bodily Harm
  • Assault
  • Possession of money obtained by crime
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Possession of Stolen Property
  • Possession of Child Pornography
  • Distribution of Child Pornography
  • Production/Making of Child Pornography

7. Will I get released on bail?

Whether you will be released on bail is decided during a Judicial Interim Release Application (also known as a ‘bail hearing’). Securing an individual’s release depends on a number of considerations. The Court  must be satisfied that you will attend your future court appearances and will not flee the jurisdiction, that there is not a substantial risk that you will re-offend or interfere with the administration of justice in the community, and, lastly, that releasing you will not weaken the community’s confidence in the administration of justice in light of the severity of the offence and the strength of the Prosecutor’s case.

Recently won cases

R v M.A. [Lethbridge Provincial Court]

Drug Trafficking: Bail  – Result: Client Released

The client was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking after being found with over a 1000.00 grams of methamphetamine and over 200.00 grams of cocaine. The Crown Prosecutor opposed the release of the client pending trial. Tonii Roulston successfully argued the clients release and the client was granted bail.

R v S.P. [Taber Provincial Court]

While on release on charges of false pretenses, theft over $5000 and fraud over $5000, the client was arrested for 6 additional charges including 3 new counts of fraud over $5000, a allegation of theft over $5000, and a new allegation of false pretenses. The client was released on bail.

R v K.S. [Calgary Provincial Court]

The client was charged with 3 breaches, and had warrants for failing to attend trial, and outstanding charges for assault, assault with a weapon, uttering threats, and previous breaches of court orders. After discussion with the hearing office, the client was released on minimal conditions.

R v D.W. [Calgary Provincial Court]

The client was charged with 8 offences, including sexual exploitation, distribution and making child pornography. After discussion with the hearing officer at the arrest processing unit, the client was released.

R v C.R. [Crowsnet Provincial Court]

The client was charged with two breaches after being found in a vehicle with alcohol in his body. He had a number of outstanding charges, including assault, assault causing bodily harm, a choking offence, obstructing a police office, and breaches of court orders. The Crown opposed his release, and argued that in case of release, he ought to be given restrictive conditions including searches of his blood alcohol level in the absence of reasonable grounds. Subsequent to the contested bail hearing in front of a Justice of the Peace, the client was released on the standard conditions.