A person can be charged with a criminal offence by way of a summons or an appearance notice; an arrest without a warrant; or a warrant for arrest.
Summons or appearance notice
The authorities can charge a person with a crime with an arrest or without an arrest. Where there is no arrest, police can issue a summons or an appearance notice. Both the summons and the appearance notice are official documents that compel a person to attend court to answer the criminal charges.
If you or a loved one has received a summons or an appearance notice the best thing to do is to speak to an experienced criminal lawyer immediately.
Arrest without a warrant
When a person is arrested without a warrant they can be released from the police station on a promise to appear or they can be held for a bail hearing. A promise to appear is similar to an appearance notice. However, a promise to appear can be accompanied by an undertaking. An undertaking is a promise made by the person to the police to abide by certain conditions the police consider necessary for safety or for monitoring purposes. Some possible conditions on an undertaking include: remaining in a territory or jurisdiction; no contact with a person; or, reporting to the police station at certain times.
When a person is arrested on an arrest warrant, or where the police do not release the person, the authorities must bring the person before a justice for a bail hearing. They are obliged to bring the person before a justice as soon as possible, and, in any case, within 24 hours of the arrest.
An arrest warrant
An arrest warrant can be issued by a justice or judge of the provincial court. There are nine circumstances in which a warrant can issue. Among them are: where it is necessary in the public interest to issue a warrant; where a person has failed to attend court (these are called bench warrants); and, where it is alleged that a person is violating the conditions of their release. Typically, arrest warrants are issued where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person committed an indictable offence.
Anyone facing an arrest warrant is put in an untenable situation. This is because an arrest warrant allows for forcible arrest at any time and on any day. An arrest warrant can result in an arrest inside your home which could be disruptive and traumatic to family members and loved ones who have to witness it. The effect of an untimely arrest warrant on you, your reputation, and your family could be immense.
Get in touch with a lawyer!
If you have knowledge, or even a slight hunch that a Toronto police warrant has been or may soon be issued for you or your loved one, please call an experienced criminal defence lawyer immediately. An experienced criminal defence lawyer can help you prepare for the arrest and to face it with dignity.
Sometimes a lawyer can negotiate with the investigator and arrange for surrender thereby avoiding the issuance of an arrest warrant. Through an experienced criminal lawyer you can arrange for a quick release from the police station on a promise to appear. Where that isn’t possible, we can begin making plans for a bail hearing to make sure you go home as soon as possible.
Whatever mistake or mistakes you made up to that point, don’t make it worse by facing an arrest warrant alone. Better to be informed and to talk to an experienced criminal defence lawyer. The arrest and booking process will often go smoothly when the authorities are aware that the person has retained a lawyer. For more information call 647-282-5777 today to set up your free consultation.