If you are charged with an offence often you may be entitled to apply for bail. Bail allows you to be released from custody until the court decides a verdict, on the agreement that you will come to court on a specified date.
The court can order:
- Release without bail;
- Bail with conditions – these conditions can include regular reporting to a local police station, or providing financial surety such as a deposit or an undertaking, as well as other conditions the court considers appropriate;
- Refuse bail.
If you breach the conditions on your bail it can result in a warrant for your arrest and further charges being brought against you.
When deciding which order to make the court will consider factors such as:
- The seriousness of the offence of which you have been accused;
- If there is a risk that you won’t attend your future court date;
- The risk of a serious offence being committed if released;
- The likelihood of the charge resulting in a custodial sentence;
- The length of time before the matter will be able to be heard in court;
- Whether you have a criminal record;
- Whether you have a permanent residence and employment;
- Other factors depending on the circumstances of the alleged offence.
For some offences, generally less serious ones, it is expected that the Court will grant bail. A charge of more serious offences will require you to prove why you should be released on bail.
Generally, at the Magistrates Court you have one opportunity to apply for bail, and if it is refused you can only change this by showing a change of circumstances since the refusal, or applying to the Supreme Court.
Because of this, it is important that you do everything possible to improve your chances when you initially apply for bail, by putting your best case forward at the first opportunity. Having a lawyer appear on your behalf is beneficial, as they will understand the process and the best way to argue for a grant of bail.
If you or a family member have been taken into custody and intend to apply for bail, we can help you. We have appeared at most Magistrates Courts in South East Queensland from Gympie and Maroochydore to Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and all over Brisbane.