*2023 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

What is a Release Order in Ontario, Canada?

Accused who are held for bail may be allowed back into the community by the court via a Release Order (Form 11) while they await the outcome of their case.

Not everyone who is charged will be released at the scene or the police station on a Form 9 (Appearance Notice) or Form 10 (Undertaking). Some accused will be held in custody and brought before the court the next day for a bail hearing. If the accused is successful in making bail they will be released on a Release Order, which is found in Form 11 of the Criminal Code. Many individuals charged with theft, assault, uttering threats, mischief, child pornography, and other offences can only be released from jail upon the issuance of a Form 11 Release Order while they await the disposition of their case.

Many Release Orders are signed on consent meaning both the Crown Attorney and the Defence Lawyer agree to a specific bail plan however those that are opposed will require a hearing for a Judge or Justice of the Peace (JP) to decide whether bail is appropriate. Even in cases where there is consent of both the Crown and the Defence the issuing of and the terms of the Release Order will always ultimately be up to the Judge or JP.

A Release Order will contain specific terms of release. Some of the most common terms include:

  1. Keep the peace and be of good behaviour
  2. To attend court as directed
  3. Remain in the province of Ontario
  4. Notify of any change in address, employment or occupation
  5. Surrender (deposit) your passport
  6. Not to communicate directly or indirectly with the victim, witnesses, co-accused, or other 3rd parties
  7. Not to attend at or be within a specific distance from a certain location (often the scene of the alleged crime)
  8. To abstain from alcohol or non prescription drugs
  9. To attend counselling as directed
  10. Not to possess or use a device capable of accessing the internet, such as a smartphone
  11. Not to possess any weapons as defined by the Criminal Code
  12. Live at and remain at a certain address, perhaps with a surety

The terms of release will depend on the nature of the alleged crime and the criminal history of the accused. Some accused will be released on relatively easy conditions of simply attending court while others will be required to remain in their residence at all times (known as house arrest). It is important for the lawyer representing the accused work to obtain the least onerous conditions of release possible.

Most Form 11 Release Orders will also specify an amount of money that could be forfeited if the accused breaches the terms. The lowest value for this in Ontario is usually $500 but it could be much more depending on the charges. In most cases, this will be a “no deposit” amount meaning the accused would only potentially have to pay it if they were caught failing to comply.

Sureties are often required on Release Orders in Ontario

It is relatively common practice in Ontario for a surety to be required to supervise the release of the accused and ensure they are complying with the terms of the Release Order. This is often a family member, relative, or friend of the accused. If the accused has nobody in their life who is willing and able to act as a surety they may be able to get assistance from the Toronto Bail Program or other community justice association willing to act as a surety. Of course, it is always up to the Judge to determine whether a proposed surety will be accepted.

If the proposed surety has a criminal record or is unable to demonstrate they have the ability to supervise the release and pay the face value in the event of a default they will likely be rejected. For this reason, it is important that the proposed surety bring proof to court of their finances and abilities to fulfill the role of surety. They must agree to call the police immediately upon witnessing any breach of the conditions.

If the court feels the accused does not require a surety, it is known as being released on their own recognizance.

Fail to Comply: Charges for breaching a Release Order

Cases involving a theft from an employer are considered a breach of trust by Canadian courts. The expression “biting the hand that feeds” is often used to describe them. As such it is an extremely aggravating factor for both the Crown and the Judge in sentencing. This means such cases will attract much harsher penalties in terms of jail time, probation, criminal records etc. In retail theft cases it may involve a fraud under $5000 charge as sometimes employees will intentionally steal by wrongly crediting gift cards or credit cards to themselves.

An employer could be a large company such as Wal-Mart, The Bay, Home Depot, Superstore etc. or an individual person. Even if the employer is a large company with lots of resources the offence is still viewed as extremely serious. In cases involving smaller employers, perhaps the most inherently egregious involve a caretaker stealing from an elderly or disabiled person that they were employed to take care of. Even a first time offender could reasonably expect to be sentenced to jail time if found guilty under such circumstances.

   Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with criminal offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on criminal law protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

    call now: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2023 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2023. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


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   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel