HOW DOES BAIL WORK?
Normally after police have charged a person they will determine if the person should get police bail. However, if the police believe that the person is a danger to the community then they would normally refuse Bail and the matter is then heard at the local Court before a magistrate.
The magistrate then listens to arguments from the prosecutor and the defence Solicitor as to whether the person should or should not be granted Bail. If the alleged offence is relatively serious you will have to satisfy the court why you should be granted bail. Some examples include major drug matters, some firearms offences, serious personal violence offences and serious property offences.
FACTORS CONSIDERED IN A BAIL APPLICATION
The seriousness of the charge
The strength of the police case
The factual circumstances of the alleged offence
The likely penalty, particularly if full-time imprisonment is a possible sentence
The applicants criminal history in particular if there has been a history of violence, failure to attend court or breaches of bail
Whether the applicant was already on bail, a bond or some other form of conditional liberty
The applicants personal circumstances and background
The protection and welfare of the community
SOME CONDITIONS THAT THE COURT WILL IMPOSE
A residential address
Reporting to police during the week
A curfew, that requires you to be at home during certain hours
Surrendering your passport
Agreeing to pay money if you do not attend court
Surety: requiring another person to deposit money and/or sign an undertaking to pay money if you do not attend court or breach your bail conditions
Not to contact witnesses, alleged victims or co-accused persons
Attending drug and alcohol or rehabilitation courses
CAN YOU CHANGE YOUR BAIL CONDITIONS?
Yes you can, however you must make an application at Court to vary your bail conditions. This usually happens when you change your address, get a new job or need to suspend or reduce your reporting conditions.
REFUSED BAIL IN THE LOCAL COURT? APPEAL TO THE SUPREME COURT
If you have been refused bail by the Local Court you may apply for bail to the Supreme Court. If your case has been transferred from the Local Court to the District Court you may apply for bail at the District Court. One of our expert lawyers will look out for you in this difficult time and help you prepare for this kind of appeal.