Here we break down everything you need to know about bail applications, and how specialist criminal lawyers can help.
What is Bail?
Bail refers to a written promise to appear in court on a particular date. If you’ve been charged with a criminal offence, bail allows you to wait for your court hearing at home instead of remaining in custody. Bail is usually granted to those who have committed minor offences. However, it may be refused in the instance of more serious crimes, or if outstanding court matters and fines have not been resolved.
Undertaking Bail Applications
Applying for bail can be a lengthy process, involving application forms, letters of support and an affidavit. This guide to applying for bail by Legal Aid is particularly helpful, but should not be used in place of professional legal help. Specialist criminal lawyers can help you increase the strength of your application, and the likelihood of bail being granted.
It is important to note that the court will only grant bail if it is satisfied that you will meet certain requirements. The most important of which are that you will appear in court for your hearing, that you will not break the law while on bail and that you are not a danger to the public, witnesses or yourself. As mentioned earlier, the court will also consider factors such as the seriousness of the crime, previous criminal history and employment.
Types of Bail
If you are arrested and charged by the police, they may grant you ‘watch house bail’ to stay at home until your court hearing. Upon your release, you must attend your court hearing, where you can apply to have your bail varied (in which your bail conditions are changed) or enlarged until your next court hearing. If the police refuse to grant you watch house bail, you can apply for ‘court bail’. If the court agrees to grant bail, the police must release you once you sign a bail undertaking. If the court refuses to grant bail or if your offense is very serious, you can apply to the Supreme Court for bail. In cases such as these, specialist criminal lawyers can be of enormous help.
What Happens if You Breach Bail?
Failing to adhere to bail conditions is an offence and may result in your bail being revoked. If you breach bail, either by failing to appear in court or not complying to a particular bail condition – you should seek legal advice immediately. After doing so, the best course of action is usually to go to the police station yourself (rather than be arrested). The police will take you into custody and then to court, where you can plead guilty or not guilty to the court. If you are found guilty, the court will sentence you for the offence (generally a fine), and you will need to reapply for bail.
Get in Touch with Guest Lawyers
We offer free initial consultations (including in prisons) to assist with bail applications as well as a number of other criminal matters. Please get in touch with us either via email or by calling (07) 3211 3007. Our team of experienced Brisbane criminal lawyers will be more than happy to assist you.
We act for all persons charged with criminal offences who are required to appear before the Magistrates District and Supreme Court. We also conduct appeals in the Court of Appeal and High Court. In addition to representing people all over Queensland, we often travel to other states and territories. Our lawyers are admitted to practice all over Australia.