Under current law, a defendant has the right to bail if the custody holds have expired or there is no sufficient reason not to grant it. Any person accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The main reasons for refusing bail are that there are substantial grounds for believing that the defendant would:

  • Abscond
  • Commit further offenses while still on bail
  • Interfere with witnesses

The courts will consider the following:

  • Nature and seriousness of the offense
  • Character, antecedents, associations and community ties of the defendant
  • Bail record
  • Strength of evidence

The courts may also refuse bail:

  • For the defendant’s own protection.
  • Defendant is already serving a custodial sentence for another offense.
  • The court is satisfied that it has not been feasible to obtain sufficient information.
  • The defendant has already absconded previously.
  • The defendant has been convicted but the court is awaiting a pre-sentence report or other inquiry.
  • Prior charges for a non-imprisonable offense, has already been released on bail or has been arrested for absconding or breaching bail.
  • Previous convictions for certain sexual or homicidal offenses.