What is bail?
If you are arrested and charged with an offence then you may be held in custody until your next court date OR you may be granted bail to live in the community until your next court date. Bail is a written agreement that you will come to court on your next court date.
When do I get bail?
If you are arrested and charged by police, they can give you bail. If the police do not give you bail then you can make a bail application to the court. For help with a bail application, speak to a lawyer. See ‘who can help’ at the end of this sheet.
How do I get a lawyer to help me get bail?
You can call one of the legal services listed below and they may be able to help you.
What does the court or police think about when deciding whether to give me bail?
They will consider whether they believe you will:
- come to your next court date
- break the law while you are on bail
- be a danger to someone
- speak to a witness in your matter or try to interfere with the police from looking into your matter.
The court or police will also consider:
- how serious the charges are
- your criminal history
- your home environment
- what has happened if you have had bail in the past
- how much evidence the police have in regard to your matter
- what sort of sentence you might get if you are found guilty.
What conditions can be put on my bail?
The court or police can give you bail with conditions that you have to follow. These conditions could be:
- that you live at a set address
- that you have a curfew during set hours of the night (that means you are not allowed out of your house during the curfew hours)
- that you do not contact a particular person
- that you stay away from a certain place.
Can I get my bail conditions changed?
Yes you can. If you want to get your bail conditions changed because you are moving house or for some other reason, speak to your lawyer about this.
How do I find out what my bail conditions are?
You, your lawyer or a trusted adult can contact the court or police who gave you bail to check what the bail conditions are.
I have breached my bail conditions, what should I do?
You should speak to a lawyer about your options. You may be able to have your bail continued with a lawyer’s help.
What if I don’t get bail?
If you don’t get bail from the police then you can make an application to a Childrens Court Magistrate for bail. Speak to a lawyer about this.
If the Childrens Court Magistrate does not give you bail then you can apply to a Childrens Court Judge for bail. Speak to a lawyer about this.
Can I get the Magistrate’s decision to refuse bail reviewed?
Yes, you can apply to a higher court to review the Magistrate’s decision to refuse you bail. A lawyer can help you with this application.
Can I be released without bail?
Yes, the police or a court can release you without bail. If they release you without bail they will place a condition on your release that you come to your next court date.
What is a Conditional Bail Program?
Conditional Bail Programs are provided when you are not given bail by the police. You do not have to agree to do a Conditional Bail Program but if you refuse you might not be given bail and you might have to stay in custody until your next court date.
Can I leave the state on bail?
Yes, unless there is a condition on your bail that says you are not to leave the state. If you move to live in another state this may be a breach of your bail condition.
Who can help?
Youth Advocacy Centre (YAC) www.yac.net.au 3356 1002
South West Brisbane Community Legal Centre www.communitylegal.org.au 3372 7677
Logan Youth & Family Legal Service www.yfs.org.au 3826 1500
Legal Aid Queensland www.legalaid.qld.gov.au 1300 651 188
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Service www.atsils.org.au 3025 3888 or (24hrs 7 days a week) 1800 012 255 (Free call)
Translating & Interpreting Services (24hrs) 131 450
Community Legal Centres (CLCs) see www.naclc.org.au for your nearest CLC
For more legal information:
Lawstuff – www.lawstuff.org.au/qld_law/topics/
Legal Aid Queensland – www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/Find-legal-information/Factsheets-and-guides
This information was last reviewed and updated in June 2015. The Youth Advocacy Centre does not accept responsibility for any action or outcome as a result of anyone relying on the information provided.