Section 4 of the Bail Act 1976 provides that any person brought before a Court accused of an offence must be granted unconditional bail i.e. bail without conditions, if none of the prescribed exceptions apply.
These exceptions are applied according to varying circumstances and Suki Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors examines the application of bail generally.
Exceptions To The Right | Kangs Right To Bail Solicitors
The automatic right to bail does not exist where a defendant:
- is charged with murder,
- is charged with a serious offence such as manslaughter, rape or other serious sexual offences and who has previously been convicted of a similar offence. [In such circumstances, bail will only be granted where there are exceptional reasons which justify bail].
Additionally, the automatic right may be withdrawn where there is a risk that the defendant:
- may fail to surrender to the Court when required to do so,
- is considered likely to commit further offences whilst on bail,
- is likely to interfere with witnesses,
- in rare instances, may be detained for his own protection.
Conditional Bail | Kangs Right To Bail Advisory Team
Where Magistrates consider that the possibility of one of the risks mentioned above may exist, bail can still be granted subject to stringent conditions, save for the situation where bail is imposed for the defendant’s own protection.
Conditions should be necessary and proportionate, such as a requirement:
- to reside at a specified address
- to abide by a curfew, (either doorstep or electronically monitored)
- not to contact specified witnesses
- not to go to specified areas
- to report to a local police station
- to provide a surety
- to provide a financial security where money put forward money as security is forfeited in the event of failure to attend Court.
Particular Offence Considerations | Kangs Criminal Defence Team
A positive test for class A drugs is likely to result in a referral to a specialist drugs worker and conditions can be imposed requiring engagement in follow up treatment.
The Court should not withhold bail where there is no real likelihood of a prison sentence following either a guilty plea or a conviction after trial save where the Court is satisfied that the defendant may commit an offence, whilst on bail, which would, or would be likely to result in:
- physical or mental injury or the fear of the same to an associated person
- failure to surrender, if there have been previous convictions for fail to surrender
- interference with witnesses
Withdrawal Of Bail | Kangs Criminal Defence Lawyers
The court may withdraw bail where:
- there arises a failure to surrender to the custody of the Court,
- bail conditions are breached,
- there are substantial grounds for believing that the defendant, if released on bail again, would fail to surrender to the custody of the Court, commit offences whilst on bail or interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice.
Common Reasons For Refusal of Bail | Kangs Bail Advisory Team
Reasons for the refusal of bail include the:
- nature and seriousness of the offence
- likely sentence
- character, antecedence, associations and community ties of the defendant, (or lack of)
- strength of the evidence
- previous record of bail conduct
- risk that the defendant will engage in conduct either to cause physical or mental injury
How Can Kangs Solicitors Help? | Kangs National General Crime Team
If we can be of assistance please do not hesitate to contact our team through one of the following: