(Red Deer, P.C. - Failing to Appear). BCC was charged with failing to appear in relation to a missed docket court appearance. The circumstances of this case are extremely troubling. The facts are that BCC's lawyer accidentally missed a docket court appearance at the Case Management Office. The timing of the missed appearance was during the first wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic, when case management offices closed, requiring counsel to appear by email. BCC's lawyer sent emails for the appearance to what he thought was the case management office. This was in error, for the appearance email went to the Crown Prosecutor's Office. Late afternoon on the appearance date BCC's lawyer realized that the email address used was in error and contacted the CMO without access. The CMO was contacted again first thing the next morning when BCC's lawyer learned that notwithstanding that the Judge was aware that BCC's lawyer had made prior appearances in docket court as counsel and despite the Crown having the initial appearance email, a warrant for the accused's arrest was nevertheless issued. No telephone call was attempted to BCC's counsel of record prior to issuing the warrant. David Chow, BCC's Alberta criminal lawyer, later learned that the warrant for arrest was not even released until a week later, during the time that all parties, including the Crown and Court were aware that the missed appearance was not at all BCC's fault. BCC had to seek judicial interim release on this charge. Though BCC attempted to have the charge withdrawn, the Crown initially declined and a trial had to be scheduled. Ultimately, about a year later, the Crown withdrew the failing to appear. BCC's case illustrates problems that occurred not only as a result of COVID-19, but a problem with the reasonable grounds necessary to justify laying the charge. Even if the warrant was justified, it could have been held. The warrant aside, there was no basis for a judge or justice of the peace to swear this charge against BCC.
bail LAWYER | CALGARY
securing bail for clients since 2005
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CALGARY BAIL LAWYER
Your freedom is the first step towards successfully defending your charges.
If you are charged with any offence, the police might think you are guilty; the Crown might think you are guilty; society might think you are guilty. You are, however, presumed innocent. And presumed innocent, you should be released from jail.
“Bail” or “judicial interim release” is essentially the process all accused are under while their charges wind their way through the court system. Not all accused are granted bail. If bail is denied, the accused is detained in custody and thus must languish in jail until the case is concluded. The first step, therefore, to successfully defending any criminal charge is obtaining release.
For most charges there is a presumption in favour of reasonable bail. This presumption flows from the generally recognized principle that all accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Given that all persons are presumed innocent, the presumption in favor of bail operates because it would be unprincipled to incarcerate innocent people until the allegations are proven.
Notwithstanding the presumption, it is not unusual for persons seeking bail to feel like they must establish their own innocence. It is also not unusual for accused to languish in custody awaiting the opportunity to have a bail hearing. Delay in a bail hearing occurs for a variety of reasons, many of which are caused by administrative policy instituted by the Courts. For example, notwithstanding that all people are entitled to a bail hearing within 24 hours, the Provincial Court of Alberta in Calgary has established internal rules that require the scheduling of a bail hearing. To accommodate a bail hearing, it is not unusual for detainees to wait days – or perhaps even longer.
Sometimes delay in a receiving a bail hearing is caused by Crown tardiness with respect to disclosure; other times, the accused chooses to wait in custody so that his or her defence lawyer can pursue disclosure issues, conduct investigations or take other legal steps to enhance the chance of successfully obtaining bail.
Whatever the case, if you have been charged with a criminal offence, judicial interim release is your first priority.
I understand the importance of obtaining bail. I routinely obtain judicial interim release for my clients and have done so in many high profile cases, including those involving drugs, guns, serious violence and even murder.
Recent Case Results
(Red Deer, P.C. - Failing to Appear). Provincial Courts across Alberta are packed with administrative offences. A criminal law administrative offence includes everything from breaching bail conditions, failing to appear for fingerprinting, failing to appear for court and more. Notwithstanding that administrative offences are quite common, many accused were charged with failing to attend for docket court appearances during the COVID-19 pandemic when circuit point courts closed, with little notice or instructions to unrepresented accused; many who lined-up outside of locked courthouses. CBC's case was a bit different. In this case, CBC's defence counsel, David Chow, attempted to appear remotely (as instructed) but accidentally sent the remote appearance instruction to the wrong email. Interestingly, the Prosecutor's office was copied with this email. As a result of the misdirected email, CBC failed to appear. Though both the Court and Crown were notified about the problem prior to any warrant being issued, the Court nevertheless issued a warrant for failing to appear. This case was set for trial. Prior to the commencement of trial, the Crown properly withdrew the charge. Though CBC was never guilty of this offence and the Crown properly withdrew the allegation, there remains many practical questions relating to the handling of the issuance of this warrant and the unnecessary strain on justice resources. Charged with failing to appear? David Chow is an Alberta criminal lawyer who appears in jurisdictions across the Province.
(Didsbury P.C. - Bail/PPT/Armed Robbery). Defending drug prosecutions is consistently becoming more labour intensive and complex. Adding to the challenges defending trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking charges is that bail conditions for those charged with drug offences can oftentimes be extremely onerous. In SOS's case, the accused was on bail for multiple offences, including armed robbery and possession for the purpose of trafficking. The latter allegation arose in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Though the accused had no criminal record, the bail order for the Saskatchewan charges included a condition granting powers to police to search on reasonable suspicion. SOS was detained in Didsbury, searched on the basis of the suspicion clause and ultimately charged with more trafficking relating offences. The bail hearing was hard fought, but ultimately pressing for release by way of an ankle monitoring program, SOS secured judicial interim release. David Chow is an experienced Calgary bail lawyer who has successfully obtained judicial interim release for clients charged with the most serious of crimes. This includes multi-kilo level drug trafficking, sexual assault, firearms offences and serious crimes of violence, including murder. Need a bail lawyer? Call Calgary criminal lawyer, David Chow, for a free consultation.
(Calgary, P.C. - Terrorism). On September 30th, 2020 a Calgary provincial court judge heard a contested judicial interim release hearing in relation to a Calgary terrorism suspect. The accused's Calgary criminal lawyer, David Chow, argued that the defence "showed cause" that release was appropriate. The accused was ordered released on October 5th, 2020 on conditions to include ankle bracelet monitoring. Ankle bracelet monitoring is becoming a powerful factor in favour of person's accused of crime in obtaining bail. In 2020 several accused have been release on ankle bracelet monitoring conditions in relation to offences that historically had a high probability of resulting in detention. In 2020, offences include homicide and terrorism. The use of ankle bracelet monitoring technology has arguably brought Alberta into the 21st Century. Where bail is often monitored by human energy, technology has the capability of significantly reducing the impact on human monitors. The technology includes more than the ability to merely GPS track the ankle bracelet wearer; it has the power to communicate with the wearer and even to detect when the wearer might be in places prohibited by a bail order. Some Calgary criminal lawyers have availed their clients with the ankle bracelet option to obtain judicial interim release. Ankle bracelets an effective tool for meeting concerns under the primary, secondary and tertiary grounds for bail, but are also potentially useful in mitigating the impact on historically strict conditions, such as house arrest or curfew. David Chow is a Calgary bail lawyer and full service Alberta criminal lawyer who has obtained judicial interim release for clients charged with serious offences, including murder, manslaughter and terrorism.