The legal process around bail applications can be confusing. Knowing the finer details can allow you and your family to feel comfortable going through this part of the legal system.
While you’ve probably heard people say things like ‘getting bail’, ‘applying for bail’ ‘and ‘cost to bail’ — how much do you know and is the information you’ve been told correct?
Let’s explore all areas of bail application and what you should be aware of in the event you are involved in a hearing that involves bail.
What is a bail application?
A bail application is made by a person in custody of the courts in which they ask be released, while agreeing to attend court at a later date.
If bail is granted, they are free to go until the court date arrives. If bail is denied the person in custody will remain in prison until their court date.
When will bail be granted?
Bail is most likely to be granted if you are a low risk person, that is, you are going to attend court when asked and you’re not likely to add to your list of crimes while out on bail. Your previous criminal history will be taken into consideration when making this decision, with The Police also having their say.
The decision will also be based on the crime you’ve been charged with and it’s severity. If you have been accused of murder or serious sexual assault, you are less likely to be granted bail than if you have committed a lesser offence or deemed to not be as much of a risk to the general public.
What conditions surround bail?
Successful bail applications can have a lot of conditions placed on them, including:
- where you must live until your court date
- reporting to the Police each day
- not contacting witnesses for the Police prosecution
- abiding by a curfew, and
- not going to certain places.
There may also be financial conditions attached to the bail. This is where you may have heard the term ‘bailing someone out’. In some cases, the Police may ask for money as security against your bail. If you break your conditions, this money will be forfeited.
What if I break bail conditions?
If you break your bail conditions, it is likely that you’ll be arrested and will not be granted bail again. Also, you will most likely be sent back to prison until your court date.
Breaking bail conditions is a serious offence that can be detrimental to your case. When you are on bail, you are under the observation of the legal system and answerable until your hearing.
Can my bail conditions be changed?
Briefly, they can of course be varied, but only after an Application is made at Court, and the Police Informant is involved, and agrees.
Some of my experiences in bail applications?
A memorable one was when my client yelled out from the dock saying they didn’t have much faith in me, the Magistrate, or anyone else. I suggested to the client, that saying this may not be in their best interest. Their answer to that was to attempt to up and leave the dock themselves – by starting to jump over it!
I was lucky to have that application adjourned. The client was made to apologise for all the grief they had caused me and was eventually granted bail. I often wonder how that client is going.
Remember, I regularly make Court appearances, so if you need more information about your legal rights on bail, click here for our Criminal Law page or Court Appearances page, and contact my team from McClure Law today on 03 9744 1881 or by email.
What have your experiences been with bail, either seeing someone go through it or yourself? Let us know in the comments below.