What Happens During a Bail Application
- Your solicitor will mention your matter and state that you are applying for bail.
- The prosecutor will provide the Court with the police facts sheet, which outlines the circumstances of the alleged offence, your criminal record and any other relevant documents. Your lawyer will have an opportunity to read these documents and make any objections to them before the Court reads them.
- If there are no objections, the Court will read the documents.
- The Court will then read any documents that your solicitor tenders, and in some cases hear evidence from witnesses called on your behalf.
- The Court will ask the prosecutor what the prosecution’s attitude to bail is. Bail will not always be opposed. If the prosecution consents to bail, this does not guarantee that the Court will grant bail, however, it is an important factor in favour of granting bail.
- Your lawyer will make submissions on whether there are any unacceptable risks and if so what conditions can be imposed to mitigate those risks. These submissions will include comments on “The factors relevant to a bail decision” such as the strength of the prosecution case, your ties to the community, your residential history and your criminal history.
- When appropriate, your lawyer will indicate to the Court that someone is willing to deposit cash or security to secure your bail. Normally this person will not be required to give evidence.
- After considering all of the material before the Court, the Court will make a bail determination.
Some Differences About Supreme Court and District Court Bail Applications
- These bail hearings are more formal than in the Local Court.
- It is rare for an accused person to appear in person in the Supreme Court. They normally remain at the gaol and appear in Court via video link (AVL).
- A solicitor and or a barrister normally appears for the accused and the police are represented by the DPP or a Crown Prosecutor. A Judge will decide whether bail should be granted.
- The Crown will tender a bundle of documents. This bundle will normally include the key statements in the Crown brief. The Crown will normally want to show that the Crown case is a strong one and will tender those documents that do this. It is normal for your lawyer to negotiate with the Crown as to what statements are given to the Judge.
- If evidence is disputed, the Judge may permit the cross examination of the police officer in charge to ascertain the strength of the Crown case.
- Normally evidence is called by your lawyer from people who may be depositing cash bail, an employer, a spouse (if hardship is a relevant factor), a representative from a rehabilitation facility, or you.
- The Judge may deliver a determination on the day or adjourn the matter to consider the application.
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.