Show Cause Bail Application - Queensland (QLD)

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Show Cause Bail Applications


The presumption in favour of granting bail to a person charged with a criminal offence in Queensland is reversed when a person is in a ‘show cause’ situation. If you are in a show cause situation you are required to show cause as to why your detention in custody is not justified. You might find yourself in a show cause situation for one of the following 5 reasons:

  • You committed an offence while on bail (not including simple offences, for example offences punishable by fines only).
  • You committed an offence against the Bail Act 1980 (most commonly failing to appear in accordance with a bail undertaking or breaching a bail condition in another way).
  • You committed an offence while armed with a weapon (including a firearm of explosive).
  • You committed certain offences relating to organised crime.
  • You committed an offence punishable by mandatory life imprisonment.

You might also find yourself in a show cause situation if you are charged as being a member of a prescribed organisation, for example an outlaw motorcycle gang.

Just because you are in a show cause situation does not mean that you cannot be granted bail, but it does mean that there is an extra barrier to a court doing so. You are required to establish why your continued detention in custody is not justified. There are a variety of ways of doing this, but it is not as simple as a bail application at first instance (that is, before you find yourself having to show cause).

If you or a family member is in custody and in a show cause situation you should seek out legal advice and representation as soon as possible. A show cause bail application can be a complicated undertaking and it is unlikely to be in a prisoner’s best interests to make the application alone.

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