Once arrested, a person may be charged with an offence. If the police determine that they do not have probable grounds to support a charge being laid, you could be released unconditionally.
Following an arrest, the person is usually taken to the police station, where they could be charged and held in custody. At this stage, you can exercise your right to contact a lawyer and receive advice. You have the right to know what you are being arrested for, to contact a lawyer, and to have an interpreter if required. You are obligated to provide only your name, date of birth, and address to police. Beyond that, you have the right to remain silent.
If you are held in custody, the police must then bring you before the Court within 24 hours. At this point, the main issue to be considered is bail. The Crown could screen your file for release or for detention. If your file is screened for detention, you will require a bail hearing where it will be up to the presiding Justice of the Peace to decide if you can be released. A bail hearing is an important step in the process and your bail plan should be considered carefully. If you are detained following a bail hearing, you can apply for a review of this decision in the Superior Court.
Whether you are released from the station or from the courthouse (as a consent release or after a hearing), you will be given a first court date. Many people believe this court date will be their trial or the date their matter will be completed. Unfortunately, that is incorrect. Most cases require several court appearances to allow time for important steps to take place. These steps can include a lawyer receiving and reviewing disclosure, discussing the file with the Crown attorney, discussing the file with a Judge, and discussing your options with you. No one case is the same, but it is usually in your best interest to have the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
If you have been arrested or would like more information about what legal steps to take, please contact Cassandra or Kristen at DeMelo Law.