What happens if Bail is refused?

What happens if bail is refused?


Police Bail

When someone is arrested and charged with a criminal offence, and are taken into police custody for processing, the Police will first determine if bail is granted. The Police have a discretion to release the accused person ‘on bail’ after the charges are processed and paperwork is completed. This usually all happens within a few hours for minor offences, and sometimes longer for more serious offences. The Officer in Charge (OIC) and/or the Bail Sergeant will determine whether bail is appropriate on a case to case basis.


How long can Police hold me before determining Bail?

4 hours is the maximum amount of time the Police can have you in custody. However, there are periods of time that do not count to that 4 hours, including waiting time (for a solicitor or family member to arrive, or the trip to the Police station). It is more often than not that Police will generally make a decision on bail within the 4 hours allotted.


What happens if if the Police refuse bail?

If Police make the decision to refuse bail, you will be transferred to the nearest Local Court, for your charges to be before a Local Court Magistrate. However, if once Police have completed the charges and made a determination on bail, it is too late to get an accused person to court before closing (about 4pm Monday to Fridays), they will usually be held in the Police cells at the Police station until the next morning. The next morning, the accused person will be transferred to the Local Court before a Magistrate.


What happens when the case goes before the Local Court Magistrate?

After the accused has been refused bail at the Police station, he/she will have to decide whether or not to apply for bail at the Local Court before a Magistrate. The decision needs to make carefully. Sometimes it is not wise to make the application for bail before the Magistrate at the first court appearance, for various reasons. It is important that you speak to your Criminal Lawyer about whether to make the application for bail then, or to adjourn the bail application for another day.

For more information on bail, and to see case studies where we have achieved bail previously, click here.


What happens if bail is refused by the Local Court Magistrate?

If an application for bail is made, and is unsuccessful, the Magistrate will require you to indicate to the court how you wish to proceed. Generally, the proceedings will be adjourned to allow parties to prepare their cases, and have the necessary paperwork ready for either summary proceedings or committal proceedings.

If bail is refused by the Local Court, there is an option for a further application for bail to be made before the Supreme Court of NSW. These proceedings will take place usually 1-2 months following the first local court bail application.


Can a second or subsequent bail application be made after the Local Court refuses bail?

Yes, second and subsequent applications for bail can be made. However, the court requires that you provide “fresh circumstances” before allowing a second or subsequent application can be made. This means that you cannot simply make the same application a second time, with a different magistrate or at a different local court.

The same rules apply for any bail application that is made before the Supreme Court of NSW.


If bail is refused will the time spent in custody count towards the final sentence?

Yes. This is called “time served”.

For example, if the accused has spent a year in jail at the date of which a sentence of 5 years (non-parole) is handed down, the accused will only have 4 years left to serve before being eligible for parole.


If you or a loved one need to make a bail application in the Local, District or Supreme Court, call LY Lawyers on 1300 595 299 for a free consultation.