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When charged with a criminal offence, the police may arrest you and place you in police custody. In order to be released into the community while awaiting your court date, a decision regarding bail will need to be made.
Bail is a signed agreement to attend court to answer a charge for one or more offences and can also include a requirement to comply with set conditions.
The type of offence you are charged with will determine whether you are entitled to bail from the police station or whether you need to make an application for bail at court. Factors that will be considered when determining bail include the seriousness of the charge(s), any other criminal charges before the court, your criminal history and whether there is a risk of you committing further offences or a risk that you may not attend court.
Specific bail requirements may vary, according to whether the bail undertaking relates to an accused person who is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, a vulnerable adult or a person under the age of 18.
If police do not grant you bail at the police station, they are required to bring you before a magistrate or authorised justice at a court within a reasonable time where a bail decision will be made.
If you are granted bail, you must sign a bail undertaking confirming that you understand what bail conditions you have to follow and when you are next required to attend court.
If you fail to attend court or disobey your bail conditions then you may be arrested by the Police and brought back to the court. This is called ‘breach of bail’. A Magistrate or Authorised Justice will then decide if you should be given bail again or refused bail.
You may also be able to make an application for bail after the initial bail decision, including an application to change your bail conditions (PDF , 18.8 KB). You can ask for a lawyer to help you with an application for bail (DOC , 39.0 KB) or complete the application yourself .
Bail continues until your court case finishes.
Conditions can be ordered as part of a bail agreement. Conditions can include another person, called a surety or acceptable person, agreeing to deposit or forfeit money as a guarantee that you will comply with your bail conditions and attend court. Conditions can also include for you to:
When your case is completed, the bail agreement ends. If you have not breached your bail any money paid into court as part of your bail will be refunded.
04 Sep 2020
We acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we work and we pay respect to the Elders, past, present and future.