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Police and Court Bail

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 19 Aug 2016 |
 
Bail Court Police Charge Criminal

If a police investigation is ongoing into alleged criminal activity, you may be bailed to return to the police station on a future date. Once you have been charged with a criminal offence, the police are required to release you on bail unless one of the following applies:

  • the police have doubts about your identity or address, or
  • you need to be detained for your own, or someone else’s, protection
  • there are concerns that you will fail to attend court, or interfere with the administration of justice (e.g. by contacting witnesses)

Bail Offences

If you are released on police bail and do not return on the date and at the time required, you may be charged with a separate criminal offence. This is called ‘failure to surrender’ and whilst you may not think that the actual penalty given for this offence is particularly serious, it does count as a ‘breach of trust’. Breaches of trust on a person’s criminal record may affect your ability to get bail if you are ever charged with an offence in the future.

Bail Conditions

Your bail from the police station may be conditional or unconditional. If there are conditions attached to your bail, you may for example be told that you have to reside at a specific address, report to a local police station, stay inside your house at certain hours of the day, not contact certain people or go to certain places, or provide a surety (a sum of money that you may lose if you fail to attend court.) You may also be told to surrender your passport.

If you breach any of these conditions, you may be arrested and brought before the magistrates court. You may be charged under the Bail Act 1976 and could also be remanded in custody until your trial.

While on police bail you can apply at the magistrates court to vary the conditions of the bail, although there is no guarantee that the court will allow such variations.

Court Bail

Once you appear before the magistrates court, you can apply to vary your conditions. If you have been remanded in police custody, you can apply for bail at your hearing before the magistrates court. The court may grant you bail, may allow you bail with conditions, or refuse bail and remand you in custody.

If you have not been convicted of any offence, you have a right to be granted bail unless certain exceptions apply. If the court thinks that you are likely to fail to attend court, interfere with witnesses or may commit further offences you will not be given bail. In determining whether any of these factors apply to you, the court will consider the nature and seriousness of the offence that you have been charged with, the strength of the evidence against you, your personal circumstances and community ties, any previous convictions and in particular any breaches of trust (such as failure to answer bail), as well as whether you have any other outstanding charges or are currently serving any other sentence.

Sureties

If the court decides that it is appropriate it can attach certain conditions to your bail so as to ensure, as far as possible that you return when you are supposed to. If you are asked to provide a surety, this is a sum of money – which you or someone else puts up on your behalf – that may have to be forfeit if you fail to surrender to bail. There is no need to pay this money to the court when you get bail, but you have to show that it is available if needed.

Re-Applying For Bail

You have two chances to apply for bail at the magistrates court, or if there is a change in your circumstances. If this fails, you can apply for bail again at the crown court, known as ‘judge in chambers.’ You can also go to the High Court but this is rare.

If you do not get bail, there are limits on the amount of time you can spend in custody without the prosecution having to apply for an extension. These are:

  • Magistrates court trials -56 days
  • Crown court committals – 70 days
  • Crown court committal to trial – 112 days

Any extension must be fully justified by the prosecution in order to be granted by the court. You can find out more about what happens the first time you appear in court here.

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Hello, We have a case where someone in our family has been falsely dragged into a huge financial criminal case which is being investigated. Her only link is by association - ie. that she was friends with someone who is being investigated in this case, and the fact that her job was a role which dealt with sensitive information. She was arrested on suspicion of providing this friend with sensitive information and had been released on bail toll Feb 16. Her bail was then extended till Sept 16. It's now been extended till March 17. In the meantime she has just been called in by her employer who had suspended her on full pay - to be notified that her employment has now been terminated because of her ongoing bail. She has 5 days to appeal this termination. We believe the case against her is weak and know that she has not committed these allegations. Can she challenge this continuously prolonged bail? Can she challenge them legally, especially as she has now been let go from her work as a result of her continued bail? If she is cleared, can she then take up a case against her employer? Thank you very much for your help.
Grace1 - 19-Aug-16 @ 9:54 AM
My brother wife made allegations domestic violence accusation (common assault), although these charges have actually been made by a support group. He thinks she has had severe post natal depression, but could not approach the topic due to stigma (she is arab and mother has mental illness so stigmatises this). He has contacted her breahing hi bail conditions, and a couple of times she has resounded positively, and he is still hoping that the marriage is rescued. Only we found out that she has actually been recording conversations, even before she left. He is now held in read, only when seeing her statements has understood this, it is magistrates court. What would need to do to get her bail? how can we convince the magistrates that he won't breach bail conditions.
sadden - 13-Aug-16 @ 2:56 PM
Sandy apply for grandparents wrights DAI
DAI - 11-Aug-16 @ 3:16 PM
My son and his wife recently broke up and my son was thrown out of the house and is living back with me. This all started when tey received news that their middle child has a terminal illness. His wife made very serious allegations about my son, all untrue. The only violence came from her, hitting my son. He has a non molestation order against him and was told not to contact the wife. They have 3 kids. My son has always been there and out of concern, he broke bail by asking how the children were and how the middle son is doing. His wife had him arrested on his birthday and he was arrested again and again. He is suffering depression and has no idea why she is doing this to him. He has to appear in the crown court on the 11/08/16, and I'm worried about what will happen to him. He hasn't threatened only saying he misses his family. He loves this woman to bits and has been with her since they were teenagers. He is 31. He has no solicitor to represent him and I just feel for him as he is a broken man and the system does not seem to care about the fact he is going through stress over his ill son. He hasn't seen his kids for over 11 weeks and we miss them. She said he is not allowed to see them and uses his depression as an excuse but he would never hurt her or the children
Sandy - 5-Aug-16 @ 2:11 PM
Tanz - Your Question:
I have been to the police station in wembley day before yesterday just over a silly fight with my boyfriend. We went out of anger to the police station but said nothing much to them only thing I said is our relation is not working n having too many arguments but the lady went no you have to say something specific in order for us to write it. I just said that he tried to hit me n she went in deep askin me how when n why n where. She made it hard for me. But she asked me do you wanna take any action against him I said no. But they under arrested him n put him in the lock up for a night n half day. They took all his details n asked him to come back to Acton police station (London) on the 10th but I wanna know is thea any possibility if I could go n tell them I wanna cancel my statement coz I really didn't want them to write it n even when she asked me to sign the statement I refused at first. But she said I have to sign it anyway.

Our Response:
Unfortunately, making a claim to the police is a serious matter. Once you have made a statement, you can't withdraw it or change it. According to the CPS, you may be able to make another statement that clears up or changes something you said in an earlier statement.
CourtroomAdvice - 5-Aug-16 @ 10:59 AM
I have been to the police station in wembley day before yesterday just over a silly fight with my boyfriend. We went out of anger to the police station but said nothing much to them only thing i said is our relation is not working n having too many arguments but the lady went no you have to say something specific in order for us to write it. I just said that he tried to hit me n she went in deep askin me how when n why n where. She made it hard for me. But she asked me do you wanna take any action against him I said no. But they under arrested him n put him in the lock up for a night n half day. They took all his details n asked him to come back to Acton police station (London) on the 10th but I wanna know is thea any possibility if I could go n tell them I wanna cancel my statement coz I really didn't want them to write it n even when she asked me to sign the statement I refused at first. But she said I have to sign it anyway.
Tanz - 4-Aug-16 @ 12:22 PM
Yas - Your Question:
My husband was arrested and released on police bail and to return on 29th July. He went back and they told him his case is still been investigated and to return back on the 5th September. He wasn't given no new bail paper with the new date on or anything. Anyhow last night being 2nd August he gets a call after 9pm from a officer asking him to attend the police station in the morning to get his new bail paper and to bring identification. My husband has no passport or driving licence so are unsure what he could take also we find it very strange that they have called late of a night. I need some advice on what might be going on here is it just routine or are they setting him up or planning on making a charge before his bail date. Many thanks.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we could not possibly predict what the motivation is to call your husband in to the station.
CourtroomAdvice - 4-Aug-16 @ 10:05 AM
My husband was arrested and released on police bail and to return on 29th July. He went back and they told him his case is still been investigated and to return back on the 5th September. He wasn't given no new bail paper with the new date on or anything. Anyhow last night being 2nd August he gets a call after 9pm from a officer asking him to attend the police station in the morning to get his new bail paper and to bring identification. My husband has no passport or driving licence so are unsure what he could take also we find it very strange that they have called late of a night. I need some advice on what might be going on here is it just routine or are they setting him up or planning on making a charge before his bail date. Many thanks.
Yas - 3-Aug-16 @ 6:06 AM
Betty - Your Question:
Hi is my husband in the reporting centre. We have today the bail in the court but refuse. He is in 1month in there. We try so many time EEA membership but always reguse. We pay the appel fees £140 but not come answer. We have the baby I have soon operation. I need to work but I cant go no have who look after my son. What we can do it now? Thanks

Our Response:
You may be able to get help and advice from Refugee Action, link here. The Refugee Council provides free advice and information to asylum seekers and refugees in UK, link here and/or AsylumHelp here. Any one of these organisations should be able to offer advice on your current situation.
CourtroomAdvice - 2-Aug-16 @ 2:07 PM
My partner had a psychotic break & overdosed on all his meds at weekend, he attacked me, smashed up house and had stand off with police. He's been remanded for 6 days so far for psych reports. I don't believe I'm in danger from him and didn't press charges but cps have charged him anyway. His solicitor will not speak to me, am I allowed to see him in prison or speak as I am the victim?No one will tell me anything! He can't be bailed to my home and is of no fixed abode currently with no friends or family to help him
Ruby - 2-Aug-16 @ 1:03 PM
Hi is my husband in the reporting centre. We have today the bail in the court but refuse. He is in 1month in there. We try so many time EEA membership but always reguse. We pay the appel fees £140 but not come answer. We have the baby i have soon operation. I need to work but i cant go no have who look after my son. What we can do it now? Thanks
Betty - 2-Aug-16 @ 12:06 AM
Hi there. I have been arrested and charged with 2 counts of theft from a motor vehicle. It was in November last year and since I have been charged I have not had any correspondence from the police about anything. I have booked a holiday to go to lanzarote in November and I am unsure if there will be an issue. They did not specify that I was to stay at a certain address, report to anyone on any set time or date so I think it might be okay but I am just really nervous about this. The crime was not serious or violent and nothing was actually stolen from a motor vehicle at all. Any advice offered is much appreciated. Thanks.
Smelen - 30-Jul-16 @ 3:12 PM
chantelle- Your Question:
Hello on monday my mum and her partner had an argument where it led to him being arrested for hitting her. later that evening the police office rang my mum to say that they are going to bail him to her address as he had no where to go and convinced her to agree to that (she is not the sharpest pencil) as she was staying with for the night as she was shook up.it is now thurdsday and my mum has been told that if she wants any items from the house she has to ring 101 to get a police esscort! Its her house not his and now the police are saying it will take 2-3 weeks to get him out! Ive rang the police lady that is taking on their case and no answer, ive even left an answer message. No reply. she ran off with my mum yesterday pretty rast (i belive because she didnt want to talk to me as she knows my mums a push over and easily led. now im stuck with my mum and she wants to go home.please help.

Our Response:
I'm afraid there is no advice I can give regarding this as she will have to sort it out via the police.
CourtroomAdvice - 29-Jul-16 @ 10:55 AM
Hello on monday my mum and her partner had an argument where it led to him being arrested for hitting her.... later that evening the police office rang my mum to say that they are going to bail him to her address as he had no where to go and convinced her to agree to that (she is not the sharpest pencil) as she was staying with for the night as she was shook up....it is now thurdsday and my mum has been told that if she wants any items from the house she has to ring 101 to get a police esscort! Its her house not his and now the police are saying it will take 2-3 weeks to get him out!Ive rang the police lady that is taking on their case and no answer, ive even left an answer message. No reply.... she ran off with my mum yesterday pretty rast (i belive because she didnt want to talk to me as she knows my mums a push over and easily led.... now im stuck with my mum and she wants to go home.....please help ..
chantelle - 28-Jul-16 @ 11:58 AM
Tommy - Your Question:
I was arrested in 2014 & charged with fraud for £6000 I went to court a couple of times and before the sentencing I absconded and have been lying low since I am now thinking of handing my self in any idea how bad my sentence will be

Our Response:
I'm afraid we could not possibly predict this - you would need to seek professional legal advice.
CourtroomAdvice - 27-Jul-16 @ 12:30 PM
I was arrested in 2014 & charged with fraud for £6000 I went to court a couple of times and before the sentencing I abscondedand have been lying low since I am now thinking of handing my self in any idea how bad my sentence will be
Tommy - 27-Jul-16 @ 12:32 AM
I was bailed last month and told when to come back but while at the station they had some issues and i was not given any paperwork for when to return. I was told I would recieve a letter or email but havent had anything. I cannot remember when i need to go so I contacted the officer dealing with the case as she told me she would take me to the station and keep me updated but i have had no response. I am pretty sure what day it is but not sure of the time and dont have the funds to get me there what can i do??
Lew - 25-Jul-16 @ 3:57 PM
My 12 year old daughter was walking home from school and was attacked by a 21 year old as well as three of her friends . Her trial was on the 24th of June which she plead guilty to 4 assaults on a minor she was due for sentencing today . She showed up an hour late had a go at me and one of the other mums to which a police officer followed us about to make sure we were safe. It got deferred to the 8th of Dec. When she was walking past us she burst out laughing in our faces . I've now found out her bail conditions have been dropped. What can I do to protect my daughter as she lives a 5 min walk away from me
leeann Murray - 20-Jul-16 @ 3:06 PM
Mouse - Your Question:
I have recently been arrested for a robbery charge with two other teenagers, but all though I was there I did not rob the victim myself but I was arrested under suspicion. My bail is in Birmingham and I have returned to London, and I can't manage to find fiancé to get back to Birmingham for my interview tomorrow, I am meant to sign on at the police station 3 times a week, but due to me having no finance I have not managed to get to Birmingham to sign on, I haven't signed on in a couple of weeks now and I would like to know if my case can get transferred to London. Is this possible.??

Our Response:
Please see link here which will tell you that you will be arrested if you don't turn up. Not having the available finance is not considered a valid excuse.
CourtroomAdvice - 19-Jul-16 @ 2:16 PM
I have recently been arrested for a robbery charge with two other teenagers, but all though I was there I did not rob the victim myself but I was arrested under suspicion. My bail is in Birmingham and I have returned to London, and I can't manage to find fiancé to get back to Birmingham for my interview tomorrow, I am meant to sign on at the police station 3 times a week, but due to me having no finance I have not managed to get to Birmingham to sign on, i haven't signed on in a couple of weeks now and I would like to know if my case can get transferred to London. Is this possible..??
Mouse - 19-Jul-16 @ 10:50 AM
Bob - Your Question:
I was arrested for common assault and have been bailed, no charge was made. I do not live in the area where the police station is and have no money to get there. There is a police station in the town I am in now, can I report to there instead.I had a police check for a room in a house as I was homeless and it mentions the assault but says no further action so I assume it is not going further. Any advice please

Our Response:
We do not have this information, you would have to check with the station directly regarding this.
CourtroomAdvice - 18-Jul-16 @ 11:42 AM
I was arrested for common assault and have been bailed, no charge was made. I do not live in the area where the police station is and have no money to get there. There is a police station in the town I am in now, can I report to there instead. I had a police check for a room in a house as I was homeless and it mentions the assault but says no further action so I assume it is not going further. Any advice please
Bob - 17-Jul-16 @ 12:15 PM
can anyone help me how do i go about getting bail address changed..
loulou - 15-Jul-16 @ 12:54 PM
My partner is serving a 2 year sentence for blackmail. During the investigation and trial he was on bail. He attended all his appointments. However when found guilty he was bailed and asked to return a few weeks later for sentencing. But he did not attend sentencing. He panicked and was afraid of the sentence. He was arrested a week later and took to court. He wrote the judge a letter apologising for not attending. The judge accepted this. He gave him a 3 month sentence for the bail offence to run concurrently with his 2 year sentence. However now the probation in prison are telling him he probably wont get the tag / hdc because of the bail offence. Is this true? He has had a tag previosuly about 8 years ago which he stuck to and completedwhat are his chances of getting the tag? Thanks.
Loulu - 5-Jul-16 @ 8:46 AM
My ex partner lied in court and i was found guilty of domestic assault so was given an 8 month good behaviour order and bail conditions still apply intil feb 2017,can i get my bail conditions dropped so i can see my kids as she is keeping them from me
Alan81 - 2-Jul-16 @ 9:18 AM
Am 16 year on age and am on bail for ang burglry could i go on holiday ?
tom - 25-Jun-16 @ 10:53 AM
My 15 year old son is on bail for burglary,theft and carrying an offensive weapon.......not what it seems but anyhows we go on holiday in a weeks time will he be able to come???? The only conditions on his bail sheet is not to go to a certain premises....
Lucy Jarman - 22-Jun-16 @ 9:24 PM
kerrie - Your Question:
My boyfriend got arrested on the 3rd of June for defending his pregnant misses and he got charged for assault and now he has applied for high court bail and I don't know if he will get it. I don't know how high court bail works.

Our Response:
As specified in the article, the court will decide whether your boyfriend should be allowed back into the public on the basis of whether he poses a risk and is likely to fail to attend court, interfere with witnesses or commit further offences and it will also take into consideration the nature and seriousness of his offence. If the court decides your boyfriend should not be given bail, he will be remanded in custody until the court hearing.
CourtroomAdvice - 21-Jun-16 @ 11:40 AM
My boyfriend got arrested on the 3rd of June for defending his pregnant misses and he got charged for assault and now he has applied for high court bail and I don't know if he will get it. I don't know how high court bail works.
kerrie - 20-Jun-16 @ 3:40 PM
Looking for advice police came threw my door found 800 tablets were not mines but As i was the only person in the house i was taken and charged also they took 800 pounds inhad put in a tin that day(i have proof where it came from was my son and my dla (saving up for backdoor fence and new big bouncy castle for my son) anyways at court the following day i signed a bit of paper if i was in trouble for the same thing within 2yrs would stay on my record if not would be wiped so im assuming i got a pf warning does this now mean case closed thanks stay in scotland
natty - 18-Jun-16 @ 7:10 PM
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