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:
- 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.