- part of the pre-trial procedure.
- when a person is awaiting trial, decision will be made as to whether they are released back into the community or held in custody.
- police may release suspect before charge, whilst they make further inquiries, the suspect will be on a condition to return to the police station.
- police can grant bail after charging a person with a crime, suspect will be bailed to appear at their local mags court on a set date, if they fail to surrender then the police can arrest them.
- if police refuse bail, the suspect must be brought before mags court asap and the court will decide whether the suspect is allowed bail or not.
Under s4 Bail Act 1976 is a general right to bail, so bail should be granted unless there is a substantial reason for believing that if granted the D would:
- Fail to surrender to custody.
- Commit an offence whilst on bail.
- Interfere with the witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice.
- The D has previously failed to surrender whilst being on bail.
- If it is necessary to keep D in custody for his own protection.
In deciding whether to grant/refuse bail the court/police will consider all the factors surrounding the case, including:
- The nature and seriousness of the offence.
- The D's character, his past record, associations and ties with the community.
- The D's record in respect of fulfilling obligations under previous grants of bail.
- The strength of evidence against the D.
Once bail has been granted it is usually subject to certain conditions, failure to comply with these conditions means the D will be remanded in custody:
- Surrendering his passport.
- Reporting daily to the police station.
- Live at a particular address.
- Not going to particular places.
- Placed on a curfew (tag).
- Surety; someone else promises to pay a certain sum of money if the D fails to surrender whilst on bail.