If you have been arrested in South Australia, you can ask to be released from custody and remain free until your criminal charge is resolved.
What is bail?
Bail is a court order that allows an individual who is accused of a crime to be released from custody, provided that the accused obeys certain conditions of release. One of those conditions is a promise to come to court whenever a court appearance is required.
Who can Set Bail?
After your arrest, you can apply to the police to set bail. The police can set bail for all but the most serious crimes.
If the police refuse bail, you can apply to a court for bail. You will then be brought before the court for a bail hearing. In some cases, the bail hearing may be conducted by telephone.
Will Bail be Granted in My Case?
The Bail Act 1985 creates a presumption of bail being granted. Other circumstances can overcome that presumption. Bail is less likely to be granted if:
- The accused has been hiding from the police or has missed court appearances in the past.
- The accused was arrested for a serious crime.
- Other evidence persuades the court that the accused will likely flee or interfere with witnesses if released into the community.
What are Bail Conditions?
If the court sets bail, you must sign a bail agreement. In addition to promising to come to court, you may need to agree to additional conditions designed to protect the public and to assure your future court appearances. They may include:
- Providing a surety (a deposit of money or another person’s promise to pay money if you violate bail conditions).
- Living at a particular address.
- Avoiding contact with victims, witnesses, or certain places.
- Reporting to the police on a regular schedule.
- Not consuming alcohol or entering a place that serves alcohol.
- Submitting to drug testing.
In some cases, home detention can be ordered. If that happens, you must stay in your home when you are not working or attending court. Your compliance may be electronically monitored.
When can I Apply for Bail?
You can apply for bail at any time. The first application is made by filling out a simple application. The police can provide you with the information you need.
What Happens if Bail is Refused?
If bail is refused by the police, you can submit a bail application to the court. If the court refuses bail, you can apply for bail again, but you are unlikely to obtain a different result unless your circumstances have changed. You can also ask the Supreme Court to review the denial of bail.
A second application for bail and a request for a bail review is usually more detailed than the initial application. You are more likely to be successful if a lawyer represents you.