For anyone who has been arrested or has a friend or family member who has, it’s important to know everything they can about the bail process. When arrested and charged for an offence by police there is a fragile timeframe in which to secure a temporary release.
Understandably, securing a release bond is critically important in the personal liberty of the accused and their ability to prepare a defence in court. For these reasons most people will not want to take any chances when it comes to getting a temporary release.
For those who wish to maximise their chances of a successful application they should use the services of an experienced bail lawyer in Melbourne who has an intimate understanding of the entire process.
The Important Factors
For a court to grant a temporary release to a person charged with an offence, they need to consider two primary factors.
In order to be granted bail, the defendant may need to ‘show cause’ regarding the offence. This involves showing the court that it is not necessary to keep the offender in jail.
An offender will have to show cause usually when it is a serious offence such as crimes relating to sex, firearms or violence. They will also need to show cause if they have committed the offence whilst already being in a temporary release or parole period. It will be much harder to get a bond if the court determines that cause needs to be demonstrated.
Concerns of the Court
There are four primary concerns the court will consider regarding an application for temporary release.
- Will the accused show up to court if released?
- Will the accused commit a serious offence while released?
- Will the accused represent a danger to the community if released?
- Will the accused harass witnesses or interfere with the course of justice if released?
If these concerns are not an issue for the court regarding the case or if they can be satisfied with release conditions, then the application must be approved.
Conditions of Release
The conditions of a temporary release cover a wide range of behavioural areas in order to ensure the accused does not re-offend or avoid court appearance. These are known as ‘conduct requirements’ and essentially aim to answer any of the court’s concerns regarding the release of the accused.
Common conditions include regular reporting to police, sacrifice of passport, staying away from specific people or places and obeying a curfew. The only mandatory conditions are that the accused lives at a clearly defined address and agrees to appear in court for their hearing.
If any of these conditions are not considered enough to allow for a temporary release, then there are a few other types that can be used.
A security requirement means giving the court an amount of money or assets to be retained if the accused does not attend their hearing. A character acknowledgment involves getting a person who is considered of ‘good character’ to sign a document stating that they believe the accused will stick to their bail conditions.
Enforcement conditions require the accused to agree to terms that will help guarantee their conditions are met, such as answering the door for police.
In order to better understand these requirements and how to satisfy them, a person accused of an offence should call on the services of a bail lawyer in Melbourne.
If Bail is not Granted
If an application for temporary release fails, there are only a few circumstances in which the accused can re-apply. These circumstances include:
- There was no lawyer present to advise the original application.
- There is significant and meaningful new information to justify a temporary release.
- If the accused is under eighteen years of age and the original application was made on their first appearance for the offence.
If Bail is Breached
If a condition of release is not met, then the police will arrest the accused and bring them back to court. Depending on the seriousness of the breach, the accused may be let off with a warning.
If the accused is taken back to court for breaching a condition, it is far less likely they will be granted another temporary release. This is why it’s crucially important to make sure the conditions are fair and accomplishable for the accused the first time round.
The facts outlined above are basic yet extremely important rules for anyone accused with a crime to understand. Applying for bail can be a complicated process to understand especially for those inexperienced with the law and their rights.
For these reasons, it’s clear that anyone charged with a criminal offence should rely on the services of a bail lawyer Melbourne to adequately represent them and secure the best possible outcome.