If you are charged with a criminal offence and refused bail by the police, you will be brought before a Magistrate in the Local Court to decide whether you should be granted bail.
You only get one opportunity to make a bail application in the Local Court, so it is very important that you seek legal advice and prepare for the application. If you are refused bail in the Local Court, you can still apply for bail in the Supreme Court.
To decide whether or not you should be granted bail, a Magistrate must consider the following:
- Is the offence that you have been charged with a “show cause” offence? If so, you will need to show cause why your detention is not justified before the Magistrate considers step 2.
- Is there an “unacceptable risk” that you will fail to appear at court, commit a serious offence, endanger the safety of others, or interfere with witnesses or evidence?
- If the answer is no, are there any conditions that must be imposed to address any bail concerns?
When considering whether there are any bail concerns, some of the factors that the Magistrate will consider are:
- Your criminal history
- Your community ties
- The nature and seriousness of the offence
- The strength of the prosecution case
- Any criminal ties
- The time you are likely to spend in custody
- The likelihood of you receiving a full-time jail sentence if you are found guilty
- The need to be free to prepare for your case
- The views of the victim or their family
Answers to some common questions about bail can be found on the following pages: