Generally, a person under arrest can apply for temporary release from police custody or for bail with the police sergeant at the station where he is being held. The ability to post bail goes hand in hand with the legal presumption of innocence that anyone accused of committing a crime enjoys. Bail application requires some legal knowledge and is best made with the help of a criminal lawyer. Melbourne’s special laws on bail provide several options so you don’t stay behind bars while your case is being tried in court.
In many cases, applicants are refused bail when they have been charged with serious offences such as homicide and armed robbery. The following are the factors that a police sergeant considers in deciding a bail application:
- gravity or seriousness of the alleged offence
- possibility of flight or absconding
- possibility of committing the same offence or interfering with evidence or hindering investigation
- the protection of the applicant for bail
- any medical or other care that the arrested person may require
- any previous violation of bail conditions
- strength of the evidence of guilt
- any prior convictions
- any special need for the accused to go on bail
When police bail is refused, the person charged with an offence may apply for a review of the bail decision in court. In which case, the bail applicant may be asked to present evidence under oath to substantiate the grounds relied upon in the request for bail review. Bail decisions made by a magistrate are reviewable by the Supreme Court, whose decision on the matter is final and can no longer be appealed to any other authority.
If you are arrested on a weekend in remote areas where a court is not readily available, you can request for a magistrate to review the police bail refusal by telephone. The police sergeant who refused bail is obliged to contact a magistrate immediately upon receiving such request.
Kinds of bail
You may be released on bail on your own undertaking by signing a bail agreement and personally guaranteeing:
- your appearance in all hearings
- compliance with all conditions of the bail agreement
- forfeiture of a specified sum of money for inexcusable absence at any hearing or failure to comply with any of the terms of the bail agreement.
A person released on his own undertaking may be required to present a guarantor who will execute a separate agreement guaranteeing that the person who is out on bail will comply with all the conditions of his bail agreement. The guarantor may also be asked to present a cash bond which may be forfeited when the person out on bail violates the bail agreement.
While anyone placed under arrest in Melbourne may apply for bail directly in the police station or in court, a lawyer can assist you in filling out the application form, citing all the reasons in your favour, and guiding you through the next procedures in case your bail application is denied.
Avoid jail time by posting bail with the help of a criminal defence lawyer Melbourne focused. Law firms are ready to assist from the moment you inform them of your arrest.