What you need to know about bail

Bail is the term used to describe the release of any accused person awaiting a trial. If you have been charged with an offence, Police must make a decision as to whether to release you on bail or keep you in custody.

If the police refuse to give you bail, they are required to take you to court as soon as possible so that you can make an application for bail to the court.

Will I get bail?

In order for the court to give you bail, it must assess:

1.       Whether you need to show cause

If the court determines you must show cause then this means you must satisfy the magistrate as to why locking you up is not justified.

2.       Bail concerns

The court must also consider:

  • Your background and criminal history;
  • Nature and seriousness of the offence;
  • Whether you will attend court when you are required;
  • Whether you will commit serious offences;
  • Whether you will endanger any person in the community;
  • Whether you will interfere with any witnesses or evidence; and
  • Any other factor the court considered relevant.

If the court is not concerned with any of the above matters then they may give you bail.

Will my bail be conditional?

The below are examples of conditions that may be imposed on your bail:

  • Report to Police daily, weekly, etc
  • Live at a certain address
  • Give up your passport
  • Not associate with certain people
  • Not go within a specific distance of certain places
  • Obey a curfew
  • Agree to submit to breath tests

How long will my bail last?

Bail will last until your court case in finalised.

What if my bail is refused?

If you have been refused bail then you can only ask for bail again in the same court if:

  • You were not represented by a Solicitor the first time you asked for bail;
  • You have new information that would impact the courts assessment;
  • You are under 18 years of age and the last bail application you made was on the first appearance of your offence

If your bail is refused then you may choose to apply to the Supreme Court to give you bail. Otherwise, you must wait until your trial or sentencing date for your court case to be completed.

What happens if I breach my bail?

If you breach your bail or any bail conditions then you may be arrested and brought back to court.

Need advice from a Criminal Law Solicitor? Talk to the team at Coutts Solicitors & Conveyancers.