If you will be attending court for a criminal or traffic offence you may need to know about bail and surety.
This information will help you to understand bail. Find out:
- What is bail?
- What are some common bail conditions?
- What is home detention bail?
- What is protective bail?
- Can I ask for my bail conditions to be changed?
- What happens if I breach my bail?
- What happens if I don’t attend court?
- Where can I get legal advice and representation?
What is bail?
Bail is a written promise (known as a bail undertaking) that you will come to court at a particular time and date. You must comply with any conditions included in the undertaking.
What are some common bail conditions?
- Attending court at a particular time and place
- Agreeing to pay an amount of money if you don’t attend as required (personal undertaking)
- Having another person agreeing to pay an amount of money if you don’t attend as required (surety)
- Reporting to a police station
- Living at a particular address
- Not to contact certain people
- Not to enter specified areas
What is home detention bail?
Bail that requires you to be at home 24 hours a day.
What are protective bail conditions?
Special bail conditions to protect the safety, welfare or property of any person, or to prevent interference with witnesses. It usually requires you to stay away from a specific person and/or place.
Can I ask for my bail conditions to be changed?
You can apply to change or vary your bail if there are new facts or a change of circumstances. You can do so:
- in court on the date you are next due to appear; or
- sooner by asking for an early listing at the court registry where you are due to appear.
What happens if I breach my bail?
You may be arrested, taken to court and charged with an offence of breaching bail. Any breach of a protective bail condition is a serious offence and you should get legal advice immediately.
What happens if I don’t attend court?
If you are on bail and you fail to attend court when required, you may be arrested and taken to court in custody. You may also be charged with an offence of breaching bail.
If you miss court you must still attend court as soon as possible afterwards. If you have a genuine reason for not being able to attend (eg medically unfit or an emergency) you should bring evidence of this with you. This may help you to avoid being charged with breaching bail.
If you know you’re not going to be able to attend court and you have a good reason, you should speak to your lawyer if you have one, or the court, as early as possible. You may be able to change the date or avoid a charge of breaching bail.
Where can I get advice and representation?
If you already have a lawyer representing you, you should contact them for any issues about bail. If you are appearing in the Magistrates Court and don’t already have a lawyer, you can ask to see the Legal Aid WA duty lawyer.
Reviewed: 11 April 2018