Are you arrested or charged with a criminal offence? Do you find yourself under the custody of the police? A bail application may grant you temporary freedom up until your case is brought to Court. Get the assistance that you need by understanding what bail is and your rights for such undertakings.
What is Bail?
A bail is an authorization for the release from custody of an accused, together with a written promise, called a bail undertaking. Such undertakings are set with conditions together with a lodged money as guarantee that an accused will appear on Court when summoned. Such undertaking gives the accused his liberty while waiting for charges to be finalized in court. The jurisdiction and processes involved in the bail application procedure in Western Australia is governed by the Bail Act 1982. A surety guarantees that the accused will appear in Court as well as conform with the bail conditions set by the Court. Failure to do so makes a surety liable to lose the amount of money issued upon granting the bail.
The Right to Bail
There is no actual common law that governs the right to bail. However, as stipulated in the Bail Act of 1982, Schedule 1, Part C, Clause 1 the grant or refusal to an accused applying for a bail is at the discretion of the judicial officer. An accused waiting for an appearance in Court before conviction may be granted or refused a bail by the judicial officer under the consideration of the circumstances stipulated under the Bail Act 1982.
A police bail can be applied if you have committed a minor offense. However, the police may not grant you a bail under certain situations. Such conditions will keep you in police custody until you answer to your charges in Court.
Serious cases are often refused for police bail. Outstanding fines or Court matters may also refrain the police from granting you a bail. The risks of putting witnesses in danger, destroying evidence and absconding may also limit the possibility of getting a police bail.
If the police refuse to approve your bail application, you will be taken to Court as soon as possible. From here, you can ask your defence attorney to apply for bail in court.
Considerations in Granting Bail
Granting bail to the accused may or may not be given by the judicial officer depending on the following circumstances:
· Preparing for a defence
· Degree of the offence
· The grade of the punishment
· The likelihood of the accused answering bail
· Possibility of the accused to commit the same charges
· Prospect of the accused to interfere with the witnesses
· The accused safety would be compromised
Grounds for Rejection for Bail Application
A bail may be refused or revoked due to several “unacceptable risks” and certain behaviours. Bail may be revoked under the certain circumstances:
· Failure to surrender into custody in answer to a bail
· Commit the same offence or a new one while on bail
· Endanger the safety of a property or the public
· Interfere with the witnesses
· Obstruction to justice whether in relation to themselves or any other person
Rejection for bail application, on the other hand, is applied due to “unacceptable risks” as defined under the Bail Act 1982:
· The character and associations of the accused
· Home environment and background of the accused
· The strength of evidence against the accused
· Attitude of the accused expressed to the Court
· If the accused publicly supports terrorism and terrorist organization
What to do if bail application is unsuccessful?
You cannot apply for a new bail application to Court unless new facts and evidence are available for your case. Changes in circumstances such as your safety or health conditions may be considered as factors for the possibility of a bail. If the initial bail application was proved to be inadequately presented, you may ask your defence to present a new bail application.
If you feel that you were misrepresented and would want to apply for a bail, Kean Legal Barristers & Solicitors can offer you help.
Looking for a stronger representation in your case? Our experienced criminal lawyers can assist you.
Contact us +61 8 6323 8613