There are three different types of The procedure that allows a person who has been charged with an offence to be released from police control or prison until the hearing of the case. Courts can add conditions to bail. For example, they can require that people released on bail promise to come to the court on a set date, or put up an amount of money that they cannot get back if they do not appear as they promised. See also undertaking.. These are:
- A document signed by parties ending a court action. The party who began the action agrees to drop it, often in exchange for a payment by the other party. Also called terms of settlement. the A person who has been charged with a crime. Also known as a defendant. person When a person is released on bail without having a surety to vouch for them. They just have to promise they will attend court on a specified date. See also recognisance. without any other condition; or
- release the accused person on their own undertaking with conditions about the conduct of the accused; or
- release the accused person with a In criminal law, a person who promises a court that an accused person released on bail will attend court on a hearing date. If the accused person does not attend court, the surety must pay the court the amount of money stated in the bail documents. Also referred to as the guarantor. The sum of money payable if there is a breach is also referred to as the surety. of stated value or a deposit of stated value, with or without conditions about the conduct of the accused.
Most accused people are bailed ‘on their own undertaking’. This means the only A person who makes decisions about medical treatment for a person who cannot give informed consent to it themselves. See also informed consent. for the accused attending An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. when required to do so is the accused themselves.
Sometimes the accused has to deposit a sum of money with the police or the courts before being released. An accused is entitled to recover the deposit once the matter against them is determined.
Sometimes another person (called a ‘surety’) is required to deposit or ‘put up’ a Money or property promised to be handed over as a guarantee for repayment of a loan, or as a guarantee that a defendant will meet their bail conditions. (usually a sum of money or a title to a property) to A binding promise made as reassurance that another person will carry out their legal obligations (e.g. paying a debt). The person making the promise is called a guarantor. If the person being guaranteed fails to pay, the guarantor becomes responsible for the debt. that an accused person A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die. appear at the date and place specified in the A form signed by a person released on bail. It sets out the promises the person has made to the court so they can be released from police control or prison. See also undertaking; surety.. If the accused does not turn up at court to answer their bail or otherwise fails to comply with the undertaking they entered, the security put up is liable to be forfeited to the state (s 5(3) Bail A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation.). For more information about sureties, see ‘Sureties and deposits’, below.
A bail decision-maker considering the release of an accused on bail must impose a condition that the accused will surrender into Lawful control over a person which prevents them leaving. A person under arrest is in police custody and is not free to go. A person in prison is serving a custodial sentence that keeps them confined to the prison grounds. at a time and place for the The time and place at which a court or tribunal hears the parties argue their case and makes a decision..
Conditions about the conduct of the accused can be set at the Power to choose whether to do something or not. For example, a judge may have discretion to allow a party extra time to complete a document if it would be unfair to enforce the legal time limit. of the bail decision-maker.
Section 5AAA(4) of the Bail Act contains a list of common bail conditions, but the bail decision-maker is not limited to these conditions and can impose conditions that do not appear in the list.
A bail decision-maker must impose any condition(s) that reduce the likelihood of an accused:
- endangering the safety and welfare of any person;
- committing further offences;
- interfering with a A person who can provide direct information based on their own knowledge about a relevant fact, and appears in court to give evidence about it. In some cases a witness may provide an affidavit or deposition setting out their evidence if they are not able to attend court.;
- obstructing the course of justice;
- failing to attend court while on bail (s 5AAA(1)).
Conduct conditions listed in section 5AAA(4) of the Bail Act include that the accused:
- report to a police station;
- live at a particular address;
- adhere to a curfew;
- surrender his or her passport;
- not attend certain places or areas;
- comply with conditions of an A court order that prohibits a person harming or harassing another person. See also family violence intervention order;personal safety intervention order.;
- attend bail support services;
- not contact specified people, or a class of people (e.g. witnesses or co-accused);
- not drive a motor vehicle;
- not use drugs or alcohol.
Each condition must be reasonable and no more onerous than is required to achieve its purpose.
Bail conditions remain binding on an accused until the bail is varied or revoked or the charges for which the person is on bail are finally determined (s 5AAA(6)). This means that an accused is still required to comply with bail conditions even in circumstances where they have failed to answer their bail and a court has issued a A document issued by a court directing an officer to take certain action. May be a warrant of apprehension, directing that a person be arrested and brought before a court; a warrant of commitment, directing that a person be arrested and imprisoned; a warrant of distress, directing that a person’s goods be seized to satisfy a debt; or a warrant of seizure and sale of real estate. for their apprehension and made an order forfeiting their undertaking of bail.
It is a criminal A criminal act prohibited by state or commonwealth criminal law. An offence is either a summary offence (minor) or an indictable offence (serious). for an accused person on bail to breach any condition attached to their bail without a reasonable excuse (s 30A(1)). This does not apply to a condition requiring the accused to attend and participate in bail support services. It also does not apply to children.