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Bail


John Sutton

Bail is a conditional release of a person who has been charged with an offence. It is granted to people to allow them to remain at liberty in the community rather than being held in custody until their case is heard.

Bail can be on a person’s own undertaking to re-appear at court when required. It often has conditions attached to it with which the person must comply. Sureties are sometimes required by the court as part of bail. A surety is where a third party lodges funds with the court as security for the appearance at court of the bailed person.

This section includes information about when a person is eligible for bail, what the court will consider in relation to bail applications and the ramifications of a person not complying with their conditions of bail in Western Australia.

Unless otherwise stated, all references to legislation in this section refer to the Bail Act 1982 (WA).



RELEASED UNCONDITIONALLY - SECTION 142 CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION ACT 2006 (WA)

In some circumstances a person will be released unconditionally – without bail being imposed – after being charged. A person will usually be released unconditionally if the arresting officer is satisfied there is no risk the person charged will:

  • Commit further offences;
  • Continue the offence for which they were arrested;
  • Endanger the safety or property of another person;
  • Interfere with witnesses or obstruct justice in any other way; or
  • Be endangered themselves if they are released unconditionally.

SECTION 142 (3) PERSON NOT CHARGED:

A person must be released unconditionally where it is decided not to charge the person. This also applies where a person is issued with an infringement notice or cautioned in relation to an offence instead of being formally charged.

SECTION 142 (4) PERSON CHARGED WITH A SIMPLE OFFENCE:

If a person is charged with a simple offence (a charge that is only heard in the Magistrates Court) they must be released conditionally unless:

  • The police officer reasonably suspects that the presence of the person when the charge is first dealt with by a court is likely to be necessary for any reason or for sentencing purposes; or
  • Not releasing the suspect unconditionally is justified on the basis the officer believes there is a risk the person will:
    • Commit further offences;
    • Continue the offence for which they were arrested;
    • Endanger the safety or property of another person;
    • Interfere with witnesses or obstruct justice in any other way; or
    • Be endangered themselves if they are released unconditionally.

If the police do not unconditionally release a person who has been charged with a simple offence, they must ensure the person is dealt with as soon as practicable under the:

  • Bail Act 1982 (WA); or
  • Mental Health Act 1996 (WA).

SECTION 142 (5) PERSON CHARGED WITH INDICTABLE OFFENCE (OTHER THAN A SERIOUS OFFENCE):

If police charge a person with an indictable offence that is not a “serious offence”, the person must be released unconditionally unless the police reasonably believe the person:

  • Would not obey a summons to attend court; or
  • Presents a risk that they will:
    • Commit further offences;
    • Continue the offence for which they were arrested;
    • Endanger the safety or property of another person;
    • Interfere with witnesses or obstruct justice in any other way; or
    • Be endangered themselves if they are released unconditionally.

If the police do not unconditionally release a person who has been charged with such an indictable offence, they must ensure the person is dealt with as soon as practicable under the:

  • Bail Act 1982 (WA); or
  • Mental Health Act 1996 (WA).

SERIOUS OFFENCE:

A serious offence for the purpose of the Criminal Investigation Act 2006 (WA) is an offence for which the statutory penalty includes imprisonment for 5 years or more.





where to next?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

Contact Armstrong Legal:
Brisbane: (07) 3229 4448
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