Where can I pay bail and how much will bail cost?
Bail can be paid at any bail hearing office in the province of Alberta (ie, any courthouse in Alberta). For example, if you are located in Edmonton and would like to pay bail for someone who is detained in Calgary, you can go to the Edmonton bail hearing office and make a payment. Bail hearing offices in major centres like Calgary and Edmonton are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also make a bail payment at a Remand Centre prior to 8:30PM. If you are detained and would like to pay your own bail, you can make a payment after you go in front of the Justice of the Peace from an RCMP station, or the Arrest Processing Unit.
The really challenging situation is asking someone from outside the province to pay bail in Alberta. At present, the only way to do this is through CIBC. You will need to know the name and Offender Records and Correctional Administration “ORCA” System number of the person in custody. You will also need to know the bank transit number for the Edmonton, Calgary, or other remand facility where the person is being held.
How the cost of bail is determined, and how you can lower the cost of your bail
The amount of bail you will be required to pay prior to your release is determined by the seriousness of your charges, your criminal record, and the strength of your release plan. The purpose of the bail is to act as a cash bond with the state that will compel you to appear in Court once you’re released, go through the court system, and eventually present yourself for trial. If your charges are more serious, your cash bail will be higher to prevent you from fleeing to avoid facing your charges. If you have a criminal record which may increase the severity of the sentence that you would receive if convicted, your cash bail will be higher. If you have a history of not complying with court orders, your cash bail amount will also likely be increased accordingly.
If these aggravating factors are not present, it is possible that you will be released on your own recognizance, meaning a stipulated bail amount that you are not required to deposit. It typically ranges from $2,000-$5,000, and you are not required to pay that money unless you breach the conditions of your recognizance or do not appear for court as required.
If you cannot afford the cost of bail, you may be able to get it lowered by developing a strong release plan with the assistance of one of our criminal defence lawyers. Our lawyers will be able to use their experience in conducting bail hearings to assist you with your release plan, and to present your best case for a lower cash bail.
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