Ask a Lawyer: Ins-and-outs of bail hearings in Alberta

What to do if you're arrested and denied bail. Protect your legal rights. Legal Aid Alberta bail lawyers are free for all Albertans.

Communications and Public Relations
July 05, 2022

Bail hearings and self-representation have become trending topics in nationwide news coverage and social media amidst the so-called “Freedom Convoy” protests. 

Dave Lloyd, Justice of the Peace bail lawyer with Legal Aid Alberta appeared on Global TV’s Ask a Lawyer to share insights on bail hearings and common mistakes people can make when it comes to bail.

Related: Your questions about bail, answered

“People think they can talk their way out of it [jail time]” said Lloyd. “If you represent yourself and you don’t accept the help of a lawyer, you’re at high risk of being denied bail and staying in jail.”

What is a bail hearing? 

“A bail hearing is when the court decides whether to release on bail or held in custody while your charges are in the courts. This is extremely important because you only get one shot at it,” he added.

Bail refers to the time between the moment you’re arrested and when your charges are finished in the courts. If you are out of custody and living in the community, you are considered out on bail.

If you are denied bail, you remain in custody even if you haven’t been found guilty of any crime – and a request for an appeal hearing can take up to a month, and in some cases, aren’t allowed.

Legal Aid Alberta provides bail hearing service to all Albertans at no cost.

Often times, Albertans are at a disadvantage if they are arrested. They can be too frightened, confused, or overwhelmed to exercise their rights or make informed decisions. Without advice from experienced counsel, you can have limited access to justice, potentially leading to life-changing circumstances and risking employment or child care.

The Justice of the Peace Bail program runs 16 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our Legal Aid duty counsel lawyers are available to provide free legal advice and can represent you at your hearing.

Watch the video below to learn more about the bail program and how it works:

Please view the video on the Microsoft Edge web browser.

Previously on Ask a Lawyer:

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