What is bail?
Bail is authority to be at liberty while an accused’s matter is being determined by the Court. In order to be granted bail, an accused or their legal representative must make a bail application.
The Court has discretion to make the following orders in relation to bail:
- Release the accused without bail;
- Grant bail with conditions;
- Dispense with bail; and
- Refuse bail.
Considerations when deciding whether or not to grant bail
- Whether the accused poses an unacceptable risk;
- Whether there is a risk of failing to appear at Court
- Whether the accused will commit a serious offence if released
- Whether the accused may endanger the safety of victims, individuals or the community
- Whether the accused may interfere with witnesses or evidence
- Whether an unacceptable risk can be minimised by bail conditions;
- The seriousness of the offence;
- The strength of the prosecution case;
- The likelihood of the matter resulting in custodial sentence;
- An accused’s criminal history;
- Any prior breach of bail or failure to appear by the accused;
- Whether the offence was committed whilst the accused was on bail for a prior offence;
- Whether the accused has a place of residence.
Typical bail conditions
- Attending Court at a specific time, date and place;
- Reporting to a police station;
- Doing or refraining from doing certain things;
- Providing surety. This may be by deposit or by undertaking;
- Residential conditions;
- Abstinence from consuming intoxicating liquor and/or illicit drugs;
- That an acceptable person provides a character acknowledgment about the accused;
- That the accused surrender their passport;
- That the accused not approach a point of departure.
Note that in Victoria the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities imposes an obligation to take into account all relevant factors, including any less restrictive means reasonably available, where an accused’s right s of freedom of movement and liberty and security of person may be limited.
Variation of bail
- An accused may apply for variation of bail if there is a change in circumstances.
- A variation of bail application may be made by appearing when the matter is next in Court. Alternatively, if the variation is required sooner, the matter can be re-listed for the purpose of making the application.
Breach of bail
A breach of bail may result in an accused being arrested and bail being refused.
Should you or a family member require a bail application, contact Slater and Gordon via the form on this page or by calling us.