If you’re charged with a criminal offence, you’ll likely need to apply for bail. Bail may be granted by the police watchhouse officer or the court.
If you’re charged with a serious offence, or if you have a significant criminal history, the police may stop you from being granted bail. In this case, you’ll need to apply for bail to the Magistrates Court or Supreme Court (as the case may be).
Jasper Fogerty Lawyers has conducted countless successful bail applications in the Magistrates Court and Supreme Court of Queensland.
What is bail?
Bail is a written promise to appear in court on future dates as required.
If you’ve been charged with a criminal offence and granted bail, you can remain in the community pending the conclusion of your matter.
It’s a criminal offence to breach any conditions of your bail undertaking and the court can make additional conditions on your bail.
An example of an additional condition is a residential condition. This requires you to live at a stated address, from where you can’t move without the permission of the police or the court.
If you aren’t granted bail, you must remain in custody until the conclusion of your matter or until you make a further application for bail.
When does a court grant bail?
The court will only grant bail if it’s satisfied you’ll meet and obey the conditions of the undertaking.
These conditions generally ensure you appear in court for your next hearing, don’t break the law while you are on bail and are not a threat to the community.
The court will consider:
- the seriousness of the charge/s
- your criminal history (including previous breaches of bail)
- whether you're in a 'show cause' position
- your connections to the community
- your personal circumstances.
What kind of conditions will the court impose?
The court may impose additional conditions on you during the bail period. You may be required to agree to conditions such as:
- reporting to your local police station
- not having contact with certain people
- living at a certain address
- wearing a GPS tracker
- a surety (someone who agrees to provide a sum of money or property if you fail to appear in court when you're required).
What should I think about before applying for bail?
The court will consider different factors in deciding whether you should be granted bail.
You’ll need to provide the court with enough information to make an informed decision about granting bail.
During a bail application, the court will consider your personal circumstances, such as:
- whether you have a place to live and who you will be living with
- whether you have employment and the details of that employment
- your financial situation
- any current relationships
- any current dependents.
It can benefit you to provide the court with written material in support of your personal circumstances, such as a letter from your employer.
We strongly recommend you seek legal advice if you want to make a bail application. Early intervention and legal advice can hugely affect the outcome.
The court will generally grant bail unless there’s a real risk that you may commit further offences, fail to appear in court as required, interfere with the administration of justice, or put your own safety and wellbeing at risk.
If bail is refused in the Magistrates Court, you can apply in the Supreme Court.
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