BAIL IN QUEENSLAND
HOW DO YOU GET BAIL?
The way you get bail will depend on how police charge you with the criminal offence. You can either get bail from the police or the court.
If police arrest you and charge you with a criminal offence, they can give you bail and they will get you to sign a bail undertaking. If police do not give you bail at the time they charge you, then you would need to make an application to the court for bail.
If police do not arrest you, but they give you a Notice to Appear to turn up to Court on a date, then the Court can give you bail.
WHAT IS A BAIL UNDERTAKING?
If the court or police grant you bail, they will ask you to sign a bail undertaking. The bail undertaking is a document you sign promising you will turn up to Court when required and comply you with your bail conditions.
It is important you keep a copy of your bail undertaking and understand any of the conditions. If you lose your bail undertaking, you should go back to the courthouse who granted you bail and ask for another copy.
WILL THERE BE ANY CONDITIONS ATTACHED TO MY BAIL UNDERTAKING?
If you are granted bail, the court can impose conditions on you being granted bail. Not every person who is charged with a criminal offence and is granted bail will have bail conditions. Some persons have no conditions, and this is known as being given bail on your own undertaking.
Whether or not the Court will want you to have bail conditions will depend on various things. When a court decides if a person should have bail conditions, they will consider:
- Do you have a criminal history?
- If you have a criminal history, have you been convicted of similar offences in the past?
- Have you previously breached bail?
- Have you been convicted for failing to appear at court?
- The seriousness of the charge.
WHAT TYPES OF BAIL CONDITIONS DOES THE COURT IMPOSE?
The types of bail conditions courts impose are:
- Residential condition- the address where you must reside while they are on bail.
- Reporting condition- the police station where you must report to and when while on bail.
- Curfew- you may not be allowed to be away from your home during specific times of the day/night while on bail.
- No-contact- you may be prevented from having contact with a person (e.g. a co-offender, a complainant or a witness in the matter) while on bail.
- Not leaving the State of Queensland- you may be prevented from leaving Queensland while on bail.
- Passport surrender- you may need to surrender your passport and agree not to apply for a new one while on bail.
- Alcohol- you may be prevented from consuming alcohol while on bail. You may also be subject to random breath testing. This condition may require you to go to Queensland Health’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Service (ATODS).
- Drugs- you may be subjected to random drug testing or being required to attend Queensland Health’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Service (ATODS).
- Rehabilitation- you may be required to attend a rehabilitation clinic/centre while on bail.
- Not to approach an airport- you may be prevented from approaching an airport.
WILL I GET BAIL?
When you are charged with a criminal offence you may be worried about whether the Court will give you bail. In deciding whether you should be granted bail there are 5 key things a Judge or Magistrate must consider. These 5 things are:
- Is there an unacceptable risk you would fail to appear and surrender into custody if you are granted bail?
- Is there an unacceptable risk you will commit an offence if granted bail?
- Is there an unacceptable risk you will endanger the safety or welfare of the victim of the offence or anyone else if you are granted bail?
- Is there an unacceptable risk you will interfere with witnesses or obstruct the course of justice if you are granted bail?
- Should you be remanded in prison for your own safety.
If you have a criminal history, in answering any of the above 5 things the Court will see if you have any entries for:
- Breaching bail.
- Failing to appear.
- Breaching court orders.
- Offences of violence.
- Obstructing the course of justice.
The law says the court must consider various things in deciding any of the above 5 mentioned things and these are:
- the nature and seriousness of the offence;
- the character, antecedents, associations, home environment, employment and background of the defendant;
- the history of any previous grants of bail to the defendant;
- the strength of the evidence against the defendant; and
- if the defendant is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person—any submissions made by a representative of the community justice group in the defendant’s community.
- if the defendant is charged with a domestic violence offence or an offence against the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, section 177(2)—the risk of further domestic violence or associated domestic violence, under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, being committed by the defendant;
- any promotion by the defendant of terrorism;
- any association the defendant has or has had with— a terrorist organisation within the meaning of the Criminal Code (Cwlth), section 102.1(1) or a person who has promoted terrorism.
CAN I CHANGE MY BAIL CONDITIONS?
If you want to change a bail condition, you must first see if it can be changed without having to go to court. Sometimes bail conditions say the prosecution or the police has the power to amend a condition. If this is the situation, then you could write to the relevant body requesting they amend your condition. When writing to the prosecution or police requesting a bail condition be amended, you will need to explain to them why you need it amended.