We all strive to be good, law-abiding citizens, but sometimes accidents just happen and charges are filed against us. In such cases, it is important to know exactly what bail is and what you need to do to abide by it.
What Is Bail?
Bail is a formal and written promise, an understanding that whoever is charged with a criminal offence will not be kept in prison for the time being, on the condition that they will appear in court at a certain date and time, under specified conditions. This also means that if the charged person cannot appear in court on the specified date, he or she must try to appear in court as soon as possible after that.
Bail may be given to offenders who do not pose as a threat to the community based on the seriousness of their offence, or to offenders found guilty and are waiting for their sentence. Bail is either set by the police or the court, and is only necessary if the offender is asked to come back to court at a later date.
Those who are on bail need to follow certain rules or conditions. These may include:
- Appearing in court at the date and time specified on the bail undertaking
- Not committing any more offences
- Agreeing to meet regularly with community corrections officers
- Agreeing to have community corrections officers check in at home or in the workplace
- Following directions given by community corrections officers
- Attending treatment programs, such as drug rehabilitation or domestic violence programs
- Agreeing to certain tests, such as urine tests
- Staying at home and being monitored by electronic equipment
- Agreeing to a curfew, or being in a specified location at certain hours
- Limiting or ceasing communication with certain people
Some bail undertakings also include other conditions, but these are specified in court and are included in the written bail undertaking.
Breach of Bail
If any of the above conditions are not met, or the offender fails to attend court on specified dates, a breach of bail occurs. In the event of a breach of bail, the bail is cancelled and the offender may have to go back to court. The offender may also be charged with an offence for breach of bail and may be arrested depending on the nature of the breach. The offender may be granted bail again, but additional conditions must be met or there will be more serious consequences.
Any breach of bail conditions can be a serious offence, and once a breach occurs legal advice must be sought. For residents of Western Australia, a good number of solicitors in Perth, and other adjacent country regions, can easily be contacted online. These law firms and lawyers in Perth offer excellent legal services, including representation at trials, sentencing hearings, and bail applications in Supreme, District and Magistrate courts. One such Perth law firm is Lawson Legal, a firm which has had extensive experience and knowledge regarding criminal law and traffic law matters. They offer first-rate criminal legal advice and representation, and will make sure you are well-informed and represented throughout your legal difficulties.