section 518(2)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

If the accused pleads guilty and the plea is accepted, the justice may order their release until sentencing under section 515 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

SECTION WORDING

518(2) Where, before or at any time during the course of any proceedings under section 515, the accused pleads guilty and that plea is accepted, the justice may make any order provided for in this Part for the release of the accused until the accused is sentenced.

EXPLANATION

Section 518(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada pertains to the release of an accused person who pleads guilty during the course of any proceedings under section 515. This section allows a justice to make any order provided for in Part XVI of the Criminal Code, which deals with bail, for the release of the accused until they are sentenced. The significance of this provision is that an accused person who pleads guilty may be released on bail until the sentencing date. This can be particularly important for individuals who may have difficulty in secure pretrial detention or who may be released on onerous bail conditions. This section ensures that an accused person who pleads guilty is not left in a precarious position while awaiting sentencing. It allows them to be released on bail, subject to certain conditions, which may include restrictions on their movements, regular check-ins with authorities, or surrendering their passport. Overall, Section 518(2) ensures that justice is served in a timely and appropriate manner while balancing the interests of the accused with the need to protect the public and maintain the integrity of the justice system.

COMMENTARY

Section 518(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada grants the justice the power to release an accused on bail if he or she pleads guilty to the charges brought against them. This section provides a mechanism that encourages accused persons to plead guilty, which in turn saves the courts valuable time, resources and cost. The section also helps to ensure that the accused do not languish in pre-trial custody for prolonged periods of time which could be detrimental to their physical and mental wellbeing. However, the section has its limitations, and there are procedural safeguards that have been put in place to ensure that the justice does not yield their discretion in granting bail. Firstly, the plea of guilt must be made voluntarily and without coercion. Secondly, the accused must have an opportunity to consult with counsel before making the plea, and the court must be satisfied that the accused is aware of the consequences of the plea. Finally, the justice must be convinced that the accused will appear for sentencing and will not pose a danger to the public or interfere with the administration of justice. The discretion vested in the justice in granting bail under this section can be exercised in a variety of ways. For example, the justice may impose conditions on the accused, such as curfew, the surrender of their passport, or prohibitions on contacting a particular person or going to certain areas. Alternatively, the justice may release the accused without any conditions at all. The decision is made on a case-by-case basis, and the justice must consider all the relevant factors when deciding whether to grant bail. One issue that arises with bail hearings under this section is the potential for unequal treatment of accused persons. The decision to grant bail is discretionary, and this discretion may be exercised arbitrarily or inconsistently. The ability to make an informed decision may be limited by the short time frame that is usually available for the hearing, and the lack of information about the accused's background and circumstances. As a result, accused persons who are able to afford a more experienced lawyer, or who have a supportive family or community may have an advantage in securing bail over those who are less well off or lack social support. In conclusion, section 518(2) is a useful provision in the Criminal Code of Canada that provides the justice with the discretion to grant bail to an accused who pleads guilty. The section balances the interests of the accused, the public, and the administration of justice, and helps to ensure that the accused can be released from pre-trial custody so that they can continue with their lives while awaiting sentencing. However, the exercise of this discretion must be cautious, and the court must be mindful of the interests of the accused and the public. Ultimately, the discretion in granting bail should be used in a manner that promotes the interests of justice for all.

STRATEGY

Section 518(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada allows an accused person to plead guilty and be released until sentencing. This provision creates a window of opportunity for the accused person's counsel to strategically plan for their client's release. In order to take advantage of this provision, strategic considerations must be made when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code. The following are some strategies that could be employed: 1. Timing of the plea: The timing of the guilty plea is crucial in utilizing section 518(2) of the Criminal Code. If the plea is entered too early, the Crown may not have had enough time to investigate the case and could reject the plea agreement. On the other hand, if the plea is entered too late, the accused person may have already spent a significant amount of time in custody. Therefore, the timing of the plea must be carefully considered. 2. Strength of the case: The strength of the case against the accused person is also an important consideration. If the evidence against them is weak, their counsel could use section 518(2) to seek their client's release. If the evidence is strong, it may be better to negotiate a plea deal before entering a guilty plea. 3. Prior record: The accused person's prior criminal record is also a critical consideration. If they have a history of failing to appear in court or other criminal convictions, it may be difficult to convince the court to release them on a guilty plea. However, if they have a clean record, section 518(2) can provide a powerful tool to secure release. 4. Conditions of release: Consideration of the conditions of release is also essential in a strategic plan. The Crown may request specific conditions to be attached to the release, such as surveillance, or a requirement to stay away from certain individuals or areas. Therefore, the accused person's counsel must scrutinize the conditions and work to negotiate conditions that are reasonable and do not cause undue hardship. 5. Pre-Sentence Report: A pre-sentence report is a document that provides an overview of the accused person's personal circumstances, criminal history, and other factors that may be relevant during sentencing. A successful pre-sentence report can provide a significant advantage when negotiating a plea deal. By having this report, the counsel can inform the court of the steps the accused person is taking to address the underlying issues that led to their criminal behavior. In conclusion, Section 518(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides an excellent opportunity for an accused person's counsel to negotiate a guilty plea and secure their release before sentencing. However, a carefully crafted strategic plan must be considered when utilizing this provision. The timing of the plea, the strength of the case, the accused person's criminal history, conditions of release, and a pre-sentence report are all strategic considerations that can make the difference between a successful plea agreement and being denied release.