R v Grande, 2021 ABPC 7
On January 6, 2021, the Alberta Provincial Court in Red Deer heard a case in which the accused (who had already been arrested and released on bail) was arrested again and charged with 10 violations of his bail release order. In a case like this, the prosecutor can apply for bail to be revoked, and that is exactly what happened: the accused had his bail privileges taken away, and was forced to sit in jail and wait for the Court to decide whether, considering all of the new alleged crimes, he deserved to be released again.
This case is a good example of why it’s important to hire lawyers like the Alberta Bail Office for your criminal charges. When the accused’s bail was revoked, everything quickly became very complicated. The accused first appeared in court on December 9, but the judge refused to hear the accused’s request for a new bail hearing because it wasn’t on the day the Court used for such hearings. The accused appeared again on December 14, but the Court decided that the matter should be decided by the first judge to get involved, and adjourned to December 15 when that judge was in the courtroom.
On December 15, the judge hearing the matter realized that he might have committed an error of law by adjourning the bail hearing in the first place, and decided it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to hear the bail hearing at all. He adjourned again for a different judge to do the bail hearing, and the matter was adjourned to December 17. All this time, the accused was in remand, waiting for a chance to ask for a new chance at bail.
This decision came down to a complex analysis of the definition of “three days”, and whether a “day” included a “non-juridical day” that was not a holiday, which in turn involved a nuanced contextual reading of the Interpretation Act.
The Court then made an important finding that if an accused is held without his consent for more than three days between court appearances without having a bail hearing, the Court has lost jurisdiction of the accused and he must be released.
The Court also made an equally important finding that a judge cannot adjourn a bail hearing by himself: there must be a request from an accused or from the Crown.