Bail Applications


When a person applies for bail in the Magistrates Court, they or their solicitor will mention the matter and state that the defendant is applying for bail. The magistrate 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 magistrate will grant bail; however, it is an important factor in favour of granting bail.

If the prosecution opposes bail, it is common for the informant (police officer) to be called to give evidence about the circumstances of the alleged offence and the defendant’s criminal record, as well as what the police’s concerns are about granting bail. The defence will then have an opportunity to cross-examine the Informant about their evidence.

The court will read any documents that the defence tenders. This may include character references and evidence of employment. In some cases, the court will also hear evidence from witnesses called on the defendant’s behalf.

The defence will make submissions on whether there are any unacceptable risks and if so what conditions can be imposed to mitigate those risks. These submissions may include comments on the strength of the prosecution case, the nature and seriousness of the offence as well as the defendant’s character, home environment, background and criminal history.

When appropriate, the defence may indicate to the court that someone is willing to deposit cash or security to secure the defendant’s bail. This money would be forfeited if the defendant breaches their bail.

After considering all of the material before the court, the magistrate will make a bail determination. If the defendant is granted bail, they will have to sign their bail agreement. If they are refused bail, they will be remanded in custody until the matter is finalised or until a court grants them bail.

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.

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