What is Bail?
- People are innocent until proven guilty therefore; if bail is granted it allows person to remain at liberty until the next stage if their case.
- The question as to whether a person should be given bail is decided before they go to court.
- This is known as a pre-trial matter.
Who Can Grant Bail?
Police - Police have the power to grant bail to people that have/have not yet been charged with an offence.
The decision to grant bail is made by the Custody Officer, bail can be refused if they cannot gain name and address of accused of if they think the information is false.
Magistrates' Court - 5 out of 6 people charged are released on bail. Very few people are refused police bail.
If police have charged suspect and have refused to grant bail. Then the suspect must be brought before the magistrates court. Magistrates will make a decision whether to grant bail or not.
Presumption Of Bail - Automatic assumption that a person will be granted bail. Innocent until proven guilty.
Reason To Refuse Bail -
- Protection - Of the suspect/accused.
- Offence - Committing an offence on bail.
- Interference - Interefere with witness or prevent justice.
- Surrender- If they won't surrender to police and go to court.
Factors To Consider -
- Nature and Seriousness - What the offence is and how serious it is.
- Evidence - How strong the evidence is against them.
- Antecedents - Their past record, character and who they're associated with.
- Record - If they have not surrendered to police/court, previously granted bail, etc.
Appealed and Renewed Application -
If bail is refused, an application can be made to magistrates. If refused bail there, defendant can appeal to a judge in the C.C
Restrictions and Amendments to the Bail Act
Repeat Offenders - If a person is charged with a serious crime and has served custodial time/prison sentence previously then they will be refused bail.
Offences on Bail - When someone on bail and commits and the same offence they're accused of.
Drug Users - When someone has tested positive for a Class A drug or has been caught in possession or supplying it. If they believe it has cause the offence.
Street Bail - A minor offence where the person would get bail anywhere. When someone on the street is automatically in bail and is told to appear at a M.C. Remember... RODS