The Likelihood of Bail Being Granted

If you or someone you know has been charged with an offence, the first step is to determine whether or not that offence is a show cause offence. If it is, then the person applying for bail must first show cause as to why detention is not justified. If they are able to show that, then they the Court will determine whether or not granting bail will pose an unacceptable risk, as per the diagram below.

If you have shown cause, or if you have been charged with an offence that is not required to show cause, the Court will apply a two step test to determine whether or not they are an unacceptable risk. See the explanation and diagram below for further details as to how a Court makes its decision.

First, the Court must determine whether or not there are bail concerns. This assessment is made by reference to fixed criteria; please refer to our page on How a Court determines whether to grant bail for more information on the relevant risks and criteria.

If any concerns are identified, then any relevant considerations that would mitigate the bail concerns will be taken into account. Please refer to Types of bail conditions that may be imposed for further information. This will give an idea of conditions that the Court could be looking at imposing in mitigation.

This will allow the Court to determine whether or not if you are granted bail, there will be an unacceptable risk to the safety of the victim and the community, and of you failing to appear for the court appearances.

If there are no bail concerns, bail must be granted. Bail must also always be granted unconditionally or dispensed with entirely for:

  • A fine only offence;
  • Most summary offences;
  • An offence under Part 5 of the Young Offenders Act

If there are bail concerns but these concerns can reasonably be mitigated by the imposition of one or more conditions, bail must be granted conditionally.

If there is an unacceptable risk that cannot be reasonably mitigated, that is only when bail can be refused.



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.


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