You generally only get one shot at making a bail application in the Local Court. It’s also an extremely stressful and difficult time for family members.
It’s very important to speak to an experienced specialist bail lawyer who will prepare the strongest bail application possible for your case, and appear in court with the strongest and most persuasive presentation to the Court.
Our highly experienced bail lawyers will explain each step of the process to you with realistic advice while tirelessly preparing your bail application to guarantee you the best chance at getting bail.
We regularly appear in Local, District and Supreme courts in NSW for bail applications. We have represented thousands of clients with a proven track record of an exceptionally high rate of success in getting bail.
Our specialised team consists of one of the best and highly experienced bail lawyers and barristers in NSW with success in all kinds of very serious criminal charges such as murder, drugs, and robbery.
What is Bail?
This is when you are allowed to be released from custody, and are allowed out into the community, usually with conditions until the end of your court matter.
How Do I Get Bail?
The court will grant bail if it’s satisfied with the following 2 tests:
1) Show cause test: Here you are required to show cause why it’s not justified to keep you in prison. Your specialist bail lawyer should present your bail hearing in the most favourable and persuasive way for you. This includes telling the court about the weakness of the police evidence against you, how long you will be in prison for if not given bail until the end of your court case, and any further needs you have in order to be free to prepare your case which can include the need to attend a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program as an inpatient to address drug or alcohol problems.
This test only applies for a select few offences called show cause offences listed in section 16B of the Bail Act. If your offence is not a show cause offence, then you do not need to satisfy this test, instead you can go straight to the second test.
2) Unacceptable risk test: Here a specialist bail lawyer should persuasively and succinctly, with strong reasons convince the court that the following risks that the court has can be adequately addressed by imposing appropriate conditions:
a) You failing to appear in court
b) You committing a serious offence
c) You Endangering safety of victims, or community
d) You Interfering with witnesses or evidence
To convince the court that the above risks can be adequately addressed, an expert bail lawyer will talk to the court about the following factors that the court will look at to assess whether bail should be granted:
a) Your current or upcoming job; close relationship with family or partner; criminal history, background
a) Strength or weakness of police case
b) Seriousness and nature of offence
c) History of violence
d) Whether you have previously committed a serious offence while on bail
e) Whether you have previously breached any past bail conditions, AVO’s, parole of good behaviour bonds
f) Length of time you will likely spend in prison if bail not granted
g) Likelihood of going to prison if you end up being found guilty or plead guilty
h) Your criminal associations
i) Any special vulnerability such as medical condition
j) Your need to be free to prepare for your case and obtain legal advice
k) Any other need for you to be free for a lawful reason
l) Your conduct to victim or family member after the offence
m) Safety of the alleged victims and community if released
o) Any bail conditions that court can impose to address any of the above concerns in accordance with section 20A of the Bail Act.
After assessing the risks and bail conditions that can be imposed to address those risks, the court will make one of the following decisions:
1) If the Court finds there to be no “unacceptable risk”, especially where appropriate bail conditions can be imposed to address those bail concerns noted above, the court will:
a) Grant bail with or without bail conditions, or
b) release you without bail, or
c) dispense with bail
2) If it considers there to be an “unacceptable risk”, the court will refuse bail.
3) For certain offences, the court is not allowed to refuse you bail. These offences are considered to have a “right to release” when the court must release you.
What Offences Have A "Right To Release"?
The court must grant you bail if charged with the following offences, known as the right to release offences:
1) A fine only offence- These are offences that do not carry a punishment of imprisonment.
2) An offence under the Summary Offences Act 1988, other than an excluded offence.
a) An excluded offence include the following:
i) Offence of obscene exposure if you have previously been convicted for that offence.
ii) An offence of violent disorder if you have previously been convicted for that offence or of a personal violence offence
iii) An offence relating to knives and offensive implements if you have previously been convicted for those offences or of a personal violence offence.
iv) An offence of custody or use of laser pointer in public place.
v) An offence of loitering if you are a convicted child sexual offender near premises frequented by children.
3) An offence being dealt with by conference under part 5 of the Young Offenders Act 1997.
If charged with a right to release offence, you will not have that right to be released if you have previously failed to comply with a bail acknowledgment or bail condition of that offence.
What Conditions May I Be Required To Comply With?
The court may grant your bail either with or without conditions.
Some conditions you may be required to comply with include:
- Reporting at the police station 1-7 days per week between 8am-8pm
- You or an “acceptable person” to deposit a sum of money to the court during your bail conditions (known as a surety) which may be returned to you if you do not breach your bail conditions.
- To provide a character reference from an “acceptable person” stating that he/she knows you, regards you as responsible who is likely to comply with your bail acknowledgment.
- Surrender your passport to police
- To reside at your home between 8pm-6am
- Not to approach a point of international departure such as airport
- To enter into a residential rehabilitation (for example, for drugs or alcohol)
- The court can only impose bail conditions that the court considers are safe enough to adequately address the bail concerns it has, they must be: reasonable and proportionate to the offence, they must be appropriate to the bail concerns, they must be no more onerous than necessary, they must be reasonably practicable for you to comply with the conditions, and there must be reasonable grounds to believe that the conditions are likely to be complied with by you. (these are considered s20A factors of the Bail Act).
Who Is An Acceptable Person?
An acceptable person can help persuade a court to grant you bail if the acceptable person agrees to provide a character reference or agrees to deposit a sum of money/property to the court (“surety”) on condition that you comply with your bail conditions. The money is returned if your bail conditions are not breached at the end of your case. If you breach bail, the court may keep the money.
An acceptable person is someone who knows you for a decent amount of time, who does not have a criminal conviction/record or outstanding criminal charges or bankruptcy proceedings.
How Do I Change My Bail Conditions?
Sometimes it is far too difficult, impossible or simply unnecessary for you to continue to comply with your bail current conditions.
You may have moved homes, making it almost impossible to be able to report to the same police station. You may need to travel past a particular area that your bail condition prohibits you from going near in order to get to work.
You may have changed work place making it too difficult to report to your police station with your time curfew.
You may be planning a holiday or required to travel interstate or overseas.
Sometimes, your bail conditions are simply far too strict in reporting every day at the police station, especially when you have been reporting every day for a long period of time without breaching the conditions.
Whatever your situation, bail conditions should be practical and appropriate for your situation. Our experienced specialist bail lawyers can have your matter listed in court urgently before a Magistrate for a “bail variation” to change or even delete your bail conditions.
We will also speak to the police officer and obtain their attitude to it. In some cases, if police agree to our application, the court will too.
Our specialist lawyers will guide you, prepare your application, advise you of your chances of success, explain how to increase those chances and appear in court for you.
What Happens If I Breach My Bail Conditions?
The police officer can do any of the following if you breach your bail conditions:
- Take no action
- Issue you a warning
- Issue you a notice requiring you to attend court
- Give you a court attendance notice –if the breach amounts to an offence such as failing to appear in court.
- Arrest you, without a warrant, and then take you before the court as soon as possible
- Apply for a warrant for your arrest, find you and take you to a court as soon as possible
What determines which of the above options a police officer will take depends on the seriousness of the breach, whether you had a reasonable excuse for breaching the conditions, your personal circumstances, and whether the police officer can take another option other than arresting you.
If the police arrest you, with or without a warrant, you will be taken straight to the court who will then re-determine whether or not to continue your bail or keep you in custody during your court proceedings. Once at court, you are required to provide an explanation to the court as to why you breached your bail conditions in order to persuade the court to continue your bail either with the same conditions, or more stricter conditions.
If the court refuses bail, you will then be locked up in custody during your court proceedings. Any money that was deposited as security by you or an acceptable person may then be forfeited to the court. The court will notify you of this by letter, given you then, 28 days to file an objection to that order. If the court confirms the order, and there are any unpaid amounts, the state debt recovery office (SDRO) can take action against you or your ‘surety’.
A failure to appear before the court, without a reasonable excuse for it, amounts to a criminal offence with heavy penalties under the law.
The law imposes a maximum term of 3 years imprisonment with a maximum fine of $3,300. Although these are maximum penalties, you generally will not get the maximum penalties for first time offenders.
For some breaches, such as forgetting to report at the police station, or if you were too sick to report, you can avoid an arrest if you immediately call the police station as soon as you realise, and/or provide a medical certificate. Our specialist bail lawyers can call the police station on your behalf to explain the situation.
What Can I Do If Refused Bail?
You generally only get once chance at making a bail application in the Local Court. This is why it is very important that you prepare and present it properly to get the best chances at getting bail. Most people come to our specialist bail lawyers after their previous lawyers have ruined their application in the local court and bail refused.
You can make a second bail application in the local court only in certain situations, such as:
A change in your circumstances. For example: your health has worsened and require the kind of care not available in prison.
New information or evidence that was not previously provided to the court the first time you did the bail application. For example: an acceptable person willing to deposit a sum of money, or put up the equity of their home as surety.
Where you did not have a lawyer appear for you in the first application. You can make the second application if you now have a lawyer.
If you are unsuccessful in the local court for a bail application, we can take your matter to a higher court called the Supreme Court who will re-determine your bail application in more detail.
We are proud to have the best specialist bail lawyers in NSW who regularly prepare and appear in local and Supreme Courts all around NSW and Australia with a very high success rate. We guarantee you will get the best fighting chance at bail from only the best in the industry.
Supreme Court Bail
You can apply for a bail application in the Supreme Court if you have been unsuccessful in the Local Court.
You generally only get one shot at applying for a Supreme Court bail application unless you can show there are further grounds for a second application.
Usually when applying for bail at this level, far more work is required to be done. Preparation and filing of documents such as affidavits, title deeds, bank statements, and character references will all be done by our specialist team of experienced bail lawyers and barristers.
You may be required to give evidence in the witness box, and if so, we will advise you before-hand so that you are aware of the questions you will likely be asked.
Most importantly, after reviewing all of your police documents, and criminal record, you will be given accurate advice about the prospects of succeeding in your application, and how it can be improved further.
Having appeared in countless numbers of Supreme Court Bail applications in NSW, our experience and expertise has led to an outstanding track record of success across all serious criminal charges. Our specialist bail lawyers will ensure to maximise your chances of getting bail, and guide at every step of the process.