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Applying for Bail

“For to be Free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela

In our system of Law there is a presumption that you are innocent until you are proven guilty in a Court of Law. Therefore, you have a right to be free until a Court determines whether you are guilty or not.

There are, however, some instances where you might be kept in custody until you are required to appear in Court to answer your charges. The Police might be suspicious that you will not appear before the Court when called on to do so and a decision might be made to keep you in police custody until your court date. If you are charged with a criminal offence, the police may arrest you and place you in police custody.

To be released into the community while waiting for your court date, a decision regarding bail will need to be made.

What is Bail?

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 while out on bail.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

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.

This is where you will need an experience lawyer who can make a bail application on your behalf, because generally you have one chance to make a bail application in the Local Court.

What happens if Bail is refused in the Local Court?

If your bail application in the Local Court is rejected, you then need to can make a bail application to the Supreme Court of New South Wales. This is a more time consuming and much more expensive exercise.

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.