When your child is charged with a criminal offence there are a number of ways they can be released on bail. It can be done directly from the police station after they are charged, or alternatively they can be released from bail court either with the Prosecutor’s consent or after a bail hearing. For more information about these processes read my blog posts titled “Your Child’s Undertaking to a Peace Officer” and “Your Child’s Appearance in Bail Court”.
If your child is not released from the police station after being charged, there are a number of pieces of information that can assist your lawyer and getting your child released on bail from court. Any of the following could be helpful to your lawyer:
•· Information about where your child will be living if released on bail, and with whom
•· Information about the level of supervision available to your child in the home environment
•· Information about child’s activities and day to day commitments
•· Your child’s recent marks in school, any kind of report card or interim evaluations can be of use
•· A letter or even an email from a teacher or school staff member outlining your child’s positive participation in school classes or programs
•· If your child is involved in sports or extracurricular programs, a letter/email from the coach or program director outlining their involvement
•· Proof of any volunteer work your child has done
•· If your child is involved in any type of counselling, a letter/email from the counsellor confirming your child is attending, how long they have been attending and outlining what the counselling is for
•· If your child has mental health issues or learning disabilities, information about the nature of these issues and/or documentation confirming these issues
•· If your child has a part time job or a co-op position, a letter/email from their employer outlining their positive contributions to the work place
It is important to remember that no teenager is likely to have all or even most of the above available, let alone having it available on short notice as a result of an unanticipated issue that has resulted in their arrest. But if any of the above is available, it is very helpful if that material can be gathered and provided to your child’s lawyer as soon as possible.