If you are charged with an offence and released on bail, you will usually be subject to certain conditions on your behaviour. If you breach any of those conditions, police can arrest you and take you back into custody. It is common for police to do bail checks while court proceedings are pending, so it is really important that you understand and comply with your bail conditions.
Sometimes, people are given bail conditions that may be difficult to comply with, such as reporting to police, a curfew condition or place restriction. At other times, living circumstances change and you may no longer be able to remain at your bailed address or report to police as required.
If this happens, it is important that you seek advice about varying your bail before you are in breach of your bail conditions.
Who can change your bail conditions?
Once you are released on bail, any variation to your bail conditions can only be made by a Judge, Magistrate or other authorised justice. Depending on which court your matter is in, you will need to apply to the relevant court for a variation of bail.
If it is a simple variation or it needs to be done urgently, sometimes the Court will make the variation by email. However, in most cases, the Court will list your matter in Court for a hearing on the proposed bail variation.
How long does it take?
You can usually get a Court date for a bail variation within one week of filing the variation.
Do I have to go back to Court?
Yes. You need to present at Court for the Magistrate or Judge to vary your bail.
Do I need consent from the prosecution?
If you have the consent of the prosecutor to vary your bail, then normally the Court will grant the proposed bail variation. However, if the prosecutor opposes the variation, you can still make the application to the Court and the Magistrate or Judge will decide whether it is appropriate for your bail conditions to be varied.
Photo by Craig Lloyd