Applying For Bail

17th Jul 2020

Bail means being allowed to go free in relation to the offence you are charged with. The decision can be made by a police officer after you have been arrested and given a notice to attend Court. This is known as ‘police bail’.

You will have to sign a form acknowledging your bail and its conditions before you will be released. You will be released immediately but you will have to then attend court on your next court date.

The bail sergeant police officer can decide to:

  • release you without bail
  • grant bail (with or without bail conditions), or
  • refuse bail.

Common conditions include daily reporting to a police station, to live at a specific address, surrender your passport, not associate with specific people, observe a curfew, and promise not to approach witnesses.

If you do not receive police bail, a police officer must take you to the nearest local court as soon as possible to make a bail application for a Judge or Magistrate to determine bail. This is called ‘Court bail’.

Offences are categorised as ‘show cause’ or ‘not show cause’ depending on their seriousness.

Show Cause

Showing cause means you must explain to the court why locking you up is not justified. Any offence that attracts a jail term of life imprisonment and serious charges of a sexual or violent nature are included in this category.

The Court will keep you in custody for a show cause offence unless you are able to show there is no unacceptable risk that you will:

  • Risk of a failure to attend court if granted bail
  • Risk of committing further offences if granted bail
  • Risk of endangering or interfering with the alleged victim, witnesses and evidence if granted bail

The Court will consider a variety of factors including your background, criminal history and ties, and the nature and seriousness of the offence.

If there is no risk of any of the above occurring, your bail application should be granted.

Non Show Cause

If you have been charged with an offence that doesn’t require you to ‘show cause’, the starting position is that you should be released from custody unless there are reasons for why you should not be released.

Factors such as your criminal history, current living arrangements and whether you have a history of not complying with Court orders will be considered by the Court when making such an assessment.

Bail Variations

If you have a valid need to change a bail condition – for example, if you need to change your address – you will need to apply for a bail variation. If you fail to do so, you may be charged with a breach of bail which may result in your bail being revoked.

Get Our Help

We can assist you in your court bail application. We would discuss your situation and the case to convince the Judge or Magistrate that the bail concerns can be sufficiently reduced or mitigated.

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