Understanding Bail Applications in the Queensland Court System
In its most simple sense, bail is a promise (or an ‘undertaking’) to appear in a court at a certain date. If an individual has been charged with an offence, being granted bail allows you to wait for your court appointment from the comfort of your home rather than in police custody. It can be granted at any point through a criminal proceeding. There are a few different types of bail that can be set and there are some key processes around applying for bail that are important to be aware of to protect your rights.
The different types of bail
The two main types of bail are watch-house bail or court bail.
Watch-house bail refers to when an individual is charged with an offence by the police and the police agree to release that individual on the assurance that they will comply with the conditions of their bail and appear in court at a later date. Typically, that individual will then sign a written document agreeing to the specifications of their bail and before being released.
Court bail refers to when police refuse to grant an individual watch-house bail, upon which they must refer that individual to court as soon as reasonably possible to apply for court bail.
The bail process
The courts will consider a number of things in the bail application process, like the likelihood of the applicant committing another offence or being a danger to the public, of them turning up to their appointed court date, any prior criminal convictions or bail violations and the likelihood they may break the law while on bail. More serious crimes will require more significant evidence in the applicant’s favour that the applicant ought be granted bail.
Bail often includes some specifications for behaviour, which range from being prohibited from entering certain venues to the handing over of a passport for those not Australian citizens.
As part of granting bail, the courts may ask for ‘surety’, which lends itself to achieving a positive response in the bail application process. Surety is a financial commitment from a person who agrees to provide a sum of money that will be forfeited if the bail applicant fails to show up to their court date. This person needs to be an adult with no criminal history who is sufficiently financially solvent to match the surety.
If an individual misses their court appearance date or needs to change their bail conditions, it’s vitally important that they seek immediate legal advice – violating bail conditions is an offence with potentially serious consequences! From being taken into police custody to those in remand in correctional facilities, an individual often has the capacity to be granted bail and police who take an individual into custody are legally obliged to assess their eligibility for bail within 24 hours, so whatever your position it is advisable to seek professional legal help.
If you have any questions about the Queensland court system and/or bail, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 FNQ LAW.
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