One of the most important, but often misunderstood, elements of the criminal justice process is Bail.
In its simplest terms, “Bail” is agreement to return to the police station or court at a certain time. However, the police or Courts can refuse to grant a person bail if they have any of the following concerns:
- The suspect will commit further offences if released on bail;
- The suspect will fail to attend as required to answer their bail;
- The suspect will interfere with Prosecution witnesses if released on bail.
In order to reassure the police or the Court that a person can be released on bail, conditions may be added to bail. Common bail conditions include:
- Residence- living and sleeping each night at a specific address;
- Curfew- having to remain at your home address between specific hours. The police may sometimes include a power to attend the address to check that the suspect is complying with this condition. Alternatively if the Court has granted bail, the curfew may be electronically monitored with a “tag” to make sure that the defendant cooperates fully;
- Reporting at a police station between certain times on specified days;
- Non-contact with specified people, such as witnesses or co-accused;
- Exclusion from areas, such as roads or even entire cities;
- Surrendering passports and being prohibited from applying for travel documents.
If suitable conditions of bail can not be agreed with the Police or the Court, then a defendant risks being remanded in custody until their case is heard. This means that even though an offence is denied, and the defendant remains innocent until proven guilty, they could spend a significant length of time in prison.
This is why it is important that you are represented by a solicitor who will work hard on your case from the very first stages. At Stephen Lickrish & Associates, we will do everything we can to achieve the best result in a case, including making representations to the police, Magistrates, or the Crown Court to secure bail.
If you, or someone you know, have a problem that we can assist you with, contact us to see how we can help you.