What you need
to know about Bail
COVID-19 & RECENT CHANGES TO BAIL APPLICATIONS
Recent decisions in Victorian courts show that courts are more considerate than ever of surrounding circumstances when deciding bail applications. If you have been arrested for a non-violent crime, are in remand awaiting trial, or have a loved one currently serving a sentence who is under 50, suffering from diabetes, asthma or a heart condition – we strongly encourage you to speak to one of our criminal law experts about lodging an application for bail.
The justice system is confusing when trying to navigate your way through. Be it your first offence, or a more serious offence than your previous; the more serious the offending generally means the more complexity in proceedings. At Garde WIlson Lawyers, we specialise in criminal defence and are comprehensively experienced in all facets of the criminal justice system and its procedures and elements. Our experience speaks for itself. Click HERE for more info.
Bail can be legally defined as the temporary release of an individual who has allegedly committed an offence for the duration between being arrested and charged and their proceeding court date. The alternative to bail is when a person is held in custody to await their court date until such time that a legal representative can conduct a successful bail application before a magistrate or judge. The circumstances surrounding an application of bail variers heavily from case to case. Whenever your liberty is in question such as being held in custody on remand or if a bail application has been refused, contact a criminal defence specialist immediately to ensure your rights are upheld.
There is a presumption of innocence granted to every Australian under allegations of committing a criminal offence, there is further a provision within the Bail Act 1977 (Vic) that provides for a presumption of bail for some accused persons. This presumption is not applicable to certain offences with heavy consideration being applied should an offender display an unacceptable risk to the public; in this instance the Courts will likely refuse bail on that basis. ‘ Exceptional circumstances ’ and ‘show cause’ are additional categories that an offender can fall into when being assessed by the Victorian Police Prosecutions. You can read more about Bail and Custody by clicking HERE . The basis of determining the category of classification of an offender and bail are the offences you have been charged with, personal circumstances, seriousness of the offending and any relevant prior criminal history. In nearly all circumstances, the Police prosecutor must present reasons as to why bail should not be granted, the onus is on them.
A ‘show cause’ application is where an offence has been committed while an accused is already on bail for previous offences of a similar nature. It means as the accused, we must present reasons as to why the offender should be considered for bail. The onus is reversed from the prosecutor to the accused to show reasons or compelling evidence to persuade the court.
When determining exception circumstances, the Court can take many different positions on what ‘does’ and ‘does not’ meet these grounds. Although not defined specifically in the Bail Act 1977 (Vic), we have listed some examples where individuals have been granted exceptional circumstances with respect to a bail application;
- Character – Positive and Negative depending on the circumstances of the accused and victims if any
- Stable Accommodation
- Surety – the court may at times require financial surety to assist in motivating the accused to ensure they attend court
- Assisting Authorities
- Exceptional Family Hardship
- Court Supported Bail Programs – find out more about CISP by clicking HERE
- Stable employment
- Prior History in offending or lack thereof
- Strength of the Police case against you
- Previous compliance with Bail
- Likely sentence to be imposed
These are just a few of the various topics to be considered and applied when making a bail application on exceptional circumstances. Types of exceptional circumstances that have been applied for a successful bail application are found in common law precedents. Ask us how you may be eligible and have us assess your prospects of bail.
The ‘surrounding circumstances’ in an application of bail are given heavy consideration by the courts when deciding to bail an offender. Section 3AAA of the Bail Act 1977 (Vic) provides the elements for ‘surrounding circumstances’. For more information on offences that can place an accused person in a category for exceptional circumstances contact us immediately for a FREE bail application assessment or click HERE to read legislation under Schedule1 of the Bail Act