Bail

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What is Bail and who grants it?

RIGHT TO REMAIN AT LIBERTY UNTIL THE NEXT STAGE IN THE CASE

PRESUMPTION THAT YOU'RE ENTITLED TO BAIL

'NEXT STAGE'=RETURN TO POLICE STATION FOR FURTHER QUESTIONING OR GO TO COURT

Granted by:

  • Police-street & at station
  • Magistrates
  • Crown Court-an appeal and if suspect is charged with murder
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Police and Police Conditional Bail

  • While making further enquiries-on condition that return to police station at specified date
  • After D has been charged-on condition that appeat at Magistrates' Court on specified date
  • Curstody Officer makes the decision-S38 of PACE as amended by CJPO Act 1994
  • CO can refuse bail if name or address cannot be discovered or in doubt

POLICE CONDITIONAL BAIL

  • Power to impose conditions including:
    • Surrender passport
    • Report to station at regular intervals
    • Surety (acts as security-pay money if don't surrender to bail-told how much and have to agree before bail is gramted. Not required to pay unless D abscons)
    • Can only be imposed to ensure that the suspect:
      • surrenders to bail
      • doesn't commit another offence
      • doesn't interfere with witnesses
      • Doessn't obstruct justice
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Magistrates

  • If police have refused grant bail suspect should be broght before Mags Court asap if they wish to request bail
  • Home Office statistics show that the majority of those prosecuted are summonsed to court
    • letter that tells you they believe yo've committed an offence so you must go to court or pay a fine and if not then go to court (minor offence)
  • 5 out of every 6 charged released on bail by poilce
  • Magistrates therefore consider only a very small number of bail applications
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**BAIL ACT 1976**

  • Presumption in favour of bail- S4 gives general right to bail

BUT

  • For an offence while already on bail-bail only given if court satisfied no significant risk of reoffending
  • If D charged with murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, **** or attempted **** must be exceptional circumstances if D has already served a custodial sentence for cuch an offence
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Refusal of Bail

  • The court need not grant bail is substantial grounds for beliving that 1 or more of the following apply:
    • D will...
      • fail to surrender to custody
      • commit further offences
      • interfere with witnesses or obstruct the course of justice
  • If D charged with a non-imprisonable offence bail can only be refused in D has previously failed to surrender to bail and grounds for beliving they will do again
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Conditions

  • Can be imposed-similar to those the police can set:
    • Surety
    • Residence in a bail hostel or at home address
    • Curfew and tagging
    • Surrender of passport and/or reporting to police station
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Factors taken into account in making decision

  • Nature and seriousness of offence and likely sentence
  • The character, past criminal record, associations and community ties of D
  • Surrendered to bail on previous occassions?
  • Strength and reliability of eveidence against D-stronger the evidence, more likely to impose conditions
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Restrictions on Bail for Adult Drug Users

  • S19 Criminal Justice Act 2003 amended the Bail Act to place restrictions on adults who have tested positive for class A drugs
  • Won't be granted bail if refuse to have a regualr assesment/be monitored whilst on bail
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Prosecution Appeals

  • The Bail (Amendment) Act 1993 gave the prosecution the right to appeal to a judge in the Crown Court against the granting of bail
  • Applies to all offences punishable with imprisonment
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