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When someone is arrested, they are taken to the nearest police station and put into custody. At the police station, there is a specific officer called the "Custody Sergeant" who deals with people who have been arrested. Working together with the investigating officers, the Custody Sergeant will discuss whether to release the arrested person on bail and, if they decide to do so, they will set the conditions for the bail. This process is called "police bail."

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the options below to learn the answers to frequently asked questions about Police bail.

When the alleged offence is not automatically eligible for bail, a higher-ranking officer at the police station will make the call on whether to release the person from custody. This decision can come with or without specific conditions.

During this assessment, the officer will consider factors such as the “unacceptable risk” associated with granting bail, which is explained further below.

Before being discharged from custody, the defendant will need to sign a bail undertaking.

If the police deny bail at the station, they must promptly bring the defendant before a magistrate – either on the same day or the following morning.

In situations where an arrest occurs within the Sydney metropolitan area on a Friday afternoon, a Saturday, or a Sunday morning, the defendant will be taken to Parramatta Bails Court. Here, the process of initiating a release application (bail application) can begin.
If a successful application is made during this period, the defendant will be released from custody. However, if no application is presented or if the application is not granted, the defendant will remain in custody. They’ll stay there until a successful bail application is made later on or until their legal case concludes.

Our experienced criminal lawyers are available for bail applications on weekends and public holidays. For urgent legal help, call KPT Defence Lawyers at (02) 9267 5555.

When a Magistrate decides whether to grant you bail, they assess:

1.  Is your charge a “show cause” category?
–  If yes, you must explain why you shouldn’t be detained before moving to the next step.

2. Is there an “unacceptable risk” involving failing to appear in court, committing a serious offence, endangering others’ safety, or tampering with evidence or witnesses?

3. If there’s no unacceptable risk, are there specific conditions needed to address bail concerns?

Factors examined for bail concerns include:

  • Your criminal record,
  • Ties to your community,
  • The alleged offence’s seriousness,
  • How strong the prosecution’s case is,
  • Links to criminal activities,
  • Expected time in custody,
  • Chance of a prison sentence if convicted,
  • Need for freedom to prepare your case,
  • Victim or family perspectives.

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