What should I do after I have been arrested?

>>>What should I do after I have been arrested?

After you are arrested you should write down everything that happened in as much detail as possible. This will help you to remember the events surrounding your arrest when you go to trial, and it will also help to ensure that no important details are missed when you are reviewing your matter with your criminal defence lawyer.

If you were arrested and released, you may have been given a promise to appear, an appearance notice, an undertaking to a police officer, an undertaking given to a justice or judge, or a document indicating that you were released on your own recognizance. These documents are very important because they specify where and when you must attend court to address your charges. A failure to appear in court on the date specified by the police can lead to your being charged with a Failure to Appear,  another criminal offence under s.145(5) of the Criminal Code.

Appearance Notice (Form 9 under the Criminal Code)

An appearance notice is a form that is filled out by a police officer after an arrest and that is provided to the person who was arrested and is being released. The form will indicate the date and place of the person’s first court appearance. It will also state whether the person must attend for fingerprinting and where and when they must do so. Typically, you will receive this form when you are arrested and released without being brought back to the police station for processing.

Promise to Appear (Form 10 under the Criminal Code)

A promise to appear is what a person will typically receive after they have been arrested, processed at the police station, and released. The appearance notice will specify what they have been charged with and where and when they are required to be in court for their first court appearance. If applicable, it will also indicate that they must attend the police station for fingerprinting and when they must do so.

Undertaking to a Police officer (form 11.1 under the Criminal Code)

An undertaking to a peace officer is another form that a person will receive after being arrested, processed at the police station, and released. The undertaking will indicate what the person has been charged with, as well as specific conditions they must follow upon their release. These conditions may restrict the ability of the person to travel or go to a particular area, or restrict him or her from possessing weapons, consuming drugs, or communicating with specific people. A failure to comply with the terms outlined in the undertaking will lead to the accused being charged with a criminal offence under section 145(5) and (6) of the Criminal Code. However, if there are compelling reasons to do so, an application under section 499(3) of the Criminal Code can be made by your lawyer to vary the conditions of the undertaking.

Recognizance Entered into Before an Officer in Charge or Other Peace Officer (form 11 under the Criminal Code)

When you are charged with a crime and arrested, you can be released on a recognizance instead of being held in custody until your matter is resolved before the court. A recognizance is essentially a written acknowledgment or promise to appear before the court as directed. There will be certain conditions with which you will have to comply while released on the recognizance. If you breach those conditions, you may have to forfeit a sum of money specified in the recognizance and you will be charged with a breach of recognizance, another criminal offence under the Criminal Code.

Undertaking given to a Justice or a Judge (form 12 under the Criminal Code)

If you have been arrested and brought before the court, an Undertaking given to a Justice or a Judge is a form of release that you will receive when the judge decides to grant you bail. After assenting to this undertaking, you are bound to return before the court on the date, time, and place stipulated by the Judge. The undertaking will indicate the offence with which you have been charged, as well as the time and place of your next appearance. It will also outline the conditions with which you are expected to comply until your matter is brought before the court again. A failure to comply with these conditions, or a failure to appear in court as required, will result in your receiving a new criminal charge. It may also result in your being placed back in custody and held there until your matter is resolved.

Recognizance (form 32 under the Criminal Code)

A recognizance is a form of release that you can receive after a judge has granted you bail. The form typically specifies a cash deposit that will be forfeited in the event that you breach the conditions of your release. The form will specify the conditions of your release, as well as the date, time, and place you are to return for your next court appearance. As with other forms of release, if you breach the conditions stipulated in this form, you will not only lose your cash deposit, but will be charged with a new criminal offence for breaching the terms of your recognizance.

No matter the form of your post-arrest release, ensure that you comply with the conditions stipulated in the documents that you were given. If you lose those documents, you can call the criminal court clerk at the courthouse to find out the date, time, and place of your next appearance. Alternatively, you can, and should, call one of our criminal defence lawyers after you have been arrested. We can help you confirm the date, time, and place of your next appearance, make an application for your release if you are being held in custody, or, if needed, make an application to change the conditions of your release.

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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

All our 30-60 minute free consultations are conducted with one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers and include the following steps:

  1. Gathering of some personal information about you, such as your level of education, occupation, and citizenship status. This information can be crucial for building your defence and seeking a resolution with the Crown Prosecutor;
  2. Careful review of all documents you received from the police. We will explain what each document is, and what you can expect from and need to do for all upcoming appearances;
  3. Critical review of your recollection of events, and any supporting materials you choose to bring with you. This step helps us identify possible defences and avenues for further investigation; and
  4. Discussion of the court process, our fee structure, and what we can do to help.

Beyond these steps, we would be happy to tell you more about us, and answer any questions you may have. If you chose to retain us to help you, we will immediately provide an overview of what steps we plan to take next, and suggestions as to what you should do to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

For the free initial consultation to be as productive as possible, you should bring (or email in advance) the following materials:

  • A written statement (preferably typed) outlining your version of events;
  • All documents that you have been given by the court or by the police;
  • Any disclosure you have received;
  • Photo ID; and
  • Any supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, texts, phone records, medical records, receipts, etc.

Ideally, you will have prepared a copy of these materials for us to keep, but if not, we can always photocopy them during the consultation.

We offer flexible payment options and structures designed to meet our clients’ individual needs. Our lawyers accept all major credit cards, bank drafts, money orders, email money transfers (e-transfers) and, of course, cash.

If you decide to retain us after the free initial consultation, all we need is a retainer (down payment) to get started. The rest of the fee payments for the case can be spaced out over time. We can set you up on a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, and process payments over the telephone or by email to make it easy for you.

The cost of a criminal defence lawyer will depend on several factors, including:

  1. how complex your case is,
  2. how serious the charges are, and
  3. how experienced the Criminal Defence lawyer is.

The fees of a competent Criminal Defence Lawyer will typically range into the thousands of dollars. The good news is that only a fraction of that amount is due initially. We offer flexible payment schedules so thefees can be paid in monthly installments.

Additionally, we offer flat rate fees, with no hidden costs. It is our standard practice to review all the costs during the free initial consultation. This means you will know exactly what our services cost at the outset and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.