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					BAIL
                                   THE RIGHT TO BAIL
Every person brought before the Magistrates' Court in criminal proceedings has a right to be
granted unconditional bail

The only exceptions are:
   i. where a person is charged with treason
   ii. Where a defendant has been convicted and a custodial sentence person is appealing to
   the Crown Court or the High Court
   iii. Where a defendant has been convicted by a Magistrates' Court and to the Crown
   Court for sentence imposed, and that is being committed
   iv. Where one or more of the exceptions contained in schedule l of the Bail Act 1976 is
   satisfied
   v. where the defendant is charged with a serious offence (murder, attempted murder,
   manslaughter, rape or attempted rape) and (s)he has a previous conviction for a serious
   offence

                                MAKING THE DECISION
The starting point when making a decision on bail is that the defendant has a right to bail. The
following questions will help you to decide whether there are substantial grounds for believing
that one or more of the exceptions applies.
   * The defendant will fail to surrender to custody
   * how serious is the offence?
   * how strong is the evidence?
   * what kind of sentence is likely?
   * has the defendant been on bail before? If so, did he answer to it?
   * what kind of lifestyle does he or she lead?
   * has the defendant got a fixed address?
   * are there any other relevant factors?

What are the reasons for custody?
   * would bail with conditions be equally effective?
   * would a bail hostel be appropriate?


The defendant will commit offences whilst on bail
   * how serious is the offence?
   * do previous convictions suggest that further offences might be committed?
   * was this offence committed whilst on bail?
   * have offences been committed on bail in the past?
   * are there any other relevant factors?

What are the reasons for custody?
   * would bail with conditions be equally as effective?

The defendant will interfere with witnesses or obstruct justice

   * what is the nature of the case?
   * what kind of evidence is involved?
   * is there any strong evidence to suggest that (s)he will interfere with witnesses?
   * have witnesses been approached, intimidated or threatened?
   * is there a record of the defendant or his or her associates being involved in such
   interference before?
   * is there a real fear that the defendant will assist other persons not charged to dispose of
   property?

What are the reasons for custody?
   * would bail with conditions be equally as effective?

   EXCEPTIONS TO THE RIGHT TO BAIL (IMPRISONABLE OFFENCE'S)
* the defendant need not be granted bail if the court is satisfied that there are substantial
grounds for believing that, if granted bail, (s)he would:
   i. fail to surrender to custody or
   ii. commit an offence whilst on bail or
   iii. interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice, whether in relation
   to himself or any other person

* the defendant need not be granted bail if the court is satisfied that (s)he should be kept in
custody for his or her own protection or, if (s)he is a child or young person, for his or her own
welfare

* the defendant need not be granted bail if (s)he is serving a custodial sentence imposed by a
court or a military tribunal
* the defendant need not be granted bail where the court is satisfied that it has not been
practicable to obtain sufficient information for the purpose of making a bail decision due to lack
of time since the institution of proceedings

* the defendant need not be granted bail where (s)he, having been released on bail in criminal
proceedings, has been arrested for failing to surrender or for breach of bail

* the defendant need not be granted bail if (s)he is charged with an indictable or either way
offence and it appears to the court that (s)he was on bail in criminal proceedings at the time of
the offence

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RIGHT TO BAIL (NON-IMPRISONABLE OFFENCES)
In these cases, bail can only be withheld if:
   a. the defendant has previously been granted bail in criminal proceedings and has failed
   to surrender, and the court believes that in view of that failure (s)he will not surrender if
   (s)he is granted bail
   b. (s)he has been arrested for breach of bail conditions

   c. it is necessary for his or her protection or, in the case of a child or young person, for his
   or her own welfare
   d. the defendant is in custody following the sentence of a court or military tribunal


                  REASONS FOR APPLYING THE EXCEPTIONS TO BAIL

When considering whether or not one of the exceptions to the right to bail exists the court shall
have regard to such of the following considerations as it considers relevant:
   a. the nature and seriousness of the offence and the probable method of dealing with the
   defendant for the offence
   b. the character, antecedents, associations and community ties of the defendant
   c. the defendant's previous conduct when granted bail
   d. the strength of the evidence against the defendant

                            ANNOUNCEMENT OF REASONS
Whenever a court refuses to grant bail the court must specify the statutory exception(s) it has
found to be satisfied, together with the reasons why the exception(s) apply. They must be
announced in open court and recorded in the register. The defendant is given a copy of the bail
record.

Where the defendant is charged with a serious offence (murder, attempted murder, manslaughter,
rape or attempted rape) and:
   i. the prosecution make application to withhold bail and
   ii. the court decides to grant him or her bail
The court shall state the reasons for its decision and shall cause those reasons to be included in
the record of the proceedings



                                  UNCONDITIONAL BAIL

   The defendant has a right to unconditional bail i.e. bail subject to a duty to surrender to the
   custody of the court at the time and on the date specified. Failure to surrender is an offence.

                                     CONDITIONAL BAIL
No conditions shall be attached to a defendant's bail unless the court is satisfied that it is
necessary in order to
   a. prevent the defendant from absconding
   b. prevent the defendant from committing further offences
   c. prevent the defendant from interfering with witnesses or otherwise obstructing the
   course of justice
   d. ensure that enquiries or reports are made

                           PRE - RELEASE BAIL CONDITIONS
   Surety
   A condition of surety can be imposed to secure the attendance of the defendant. The court
   should consider the suitability of the proposed surety with reference to:
       * his or her financial resources
       * his or her character
       * his or her proximity to the defendant

   Security
   The court may require the deposit of a security if it feels that the defendant is unlikely to
   remain in the country. A security may be given by the defendant or another person on his
   or her behalf. There is no limit to the amount which may be ordered.

                              POST - RELEASE CONDITIONS
   Reporting to the police
   Imposed to ensure attendance at court.

   Residence
   Imposed to prevent absconding or, where the defendant usually lives with or near a
   witness, to prevent the commission of further offences or protect witnesses.
   When imposing a condition that the defendant resides elsewhere than his usual address
   the court must ensure that the person at whose address the defendant resides agrees to the
   imposition of the condition.
   Curfew
   Used to prevent the commission of further offences and usually combined with a
   condition of residence.


                                 FAILURE TO ANSWER BAIL
A person who fails without reasonable cause to surrender to the custody of the court at the
appointed time and place is guilty of an offence punishable with a fine not exceeding level 5
(£5,000) and/or imprisonment of up to three months.

Once it is established that the defendant failed to attend court the defendant must prove that he
had reasonable cause for his failure to attend, not reasonable excuse. The defence is not proved if
the defendant merely points to something which exonerates him. The burden of proof is the
balance of probabilities i.e. has the defendant proved that it is more likely than not that he has
reasonable cause for failing to surrender?

                            BREACH OF BAIL CONDITIONS
a. A person who has been released on bail may be arrested without warrant by a constable if the
constable has reasonable grounds for believing that:
   i. that person is likely to break any of the conditions of his or her bail; or
   ii. that person has broken any of those conditions

b. A defendant arrested in accordance with the above provisions need not be granted bail.

c. Although (s)he is liable to arrest, a person who breaches his or her bail does not commit an
offence.

d. Where a court is of the opinion that the defendant has broken, or is likely to break, any
condition of bail the court may
   i. refuse bail; or
   ii. grant bail with the same or different conditions

e. The defendant should be asked whether (s)he admits or denies the breach. If the breach is
denied the prosecution should call evidence.

                               WITHDRAWAL OF SURETY
If a surety notifies a constable in writing that the defendant is unlikely to surrender to custody
and (s)he therefore wishes to be relieved of his or her obligations as a surety the constable may
arrest that person without warrant.

Such notification does not automatically release the surety from his or her responsibilities. A
surety may only withdraw if the defendant is before the court and an application made to vary
bail conditions.
                          FORFEITURE OF RECOGNIZANCE
Where a defendant fails to attend court having been granted bail with a surety proceedings are
commenced to bring the surety to court to consider forfeiture of all or part of the recognizance.

The court considering such application should have regard to the following principles:
   * where the defendant fails to appear the full sum should normally be forfeited
   * the full recognizance need not be forfeited if the court is satisfied that the surety has
   acted with all due diligence and made every effort to secure the attendance of the accused
   * the surety's means must be taken into account when deciding whether all or part of the
   recognizance should be forfeited

				
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