Clarity Law

Specialist Criminal Law Firm Queensland
Thursday, 23 May 2024 11:16

How can I Change my Bail Conditions?

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How can I Change my Bail Conditions

A person charged with a criminal or traffic offence in Queensland may be placed on bail. In many instances the only condition of that bail will be for the person to return to court on a designated date. However, some offences, especially more serious ones, will come with additional bail conditions. This article is not a general guide for bail, but you can find such articles here.

Navigating bail conditions in Queensland can be challenging, especially for serious offences. While some bail conditions are straightforward, others can be quite restrictive. Understanding your rights under the Queensland Bail Act is crucial. If your bail conditions seem too harsh or unnecessary, you have the right to apply for a change. At Clarity Law, our experienced team can guide you through the process, ensuring your conditions are fair and manageable.

 

What the Bail Act says

The Queensland Bail Act says a court, or police officer, must not make conditions for a grant of bail more onerous than necessary for the person seeking bail, having regard to the nature of the offence, the circumstances of the defendant and the public interest.

As noted in the Bail Benchbook, the Bail Act provides the magistrate with very broad powers to impose special conditions, as the magistrate sees fit, provided the magistrate considers the imposition of the special conditions are necessary to:

  1. Secure the defendant’s future appearance,
  2. Ensure the defendant, while he or she is on bail, does not:
    • Commit an offence,
    • Endanger the safety or welfare of members of the public,
    • Interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice.

 

What is the legal test for a change of bail conditions?

When a defendant is applying to vary his or her bail conditions, a magistrate should consider:

  1. Whether the conditions of bail imposed originally are still necessary to secure the defendant’s compliance with the matters set out in the above paragraph; and
  2. Whether those conditions at the time of the application to vary bail are more onerous than necessary, having regard to:
    • The nature of the offence,
    • The defendant’s circumstances,
    • The public interest.

 

What kind of bail conditions can a court impose?

Take as an example a person charged with drug trafficking. The conditions may include:

  • You are to live at address X unless permission to change the address is given by the officer in charge of Maroochydore police station or an officer of the DPP.
  • You are not to associate with person X.
  • You must give details of any mobile device you use to police or and officer of the DPP.
  • You must undertake drug counselling with two months on release on bail, or, failing that, provide a reasonable explanation to the officer in charge of the Maroochydore police station why you are yet to do so.
  • You must report to the Maroochydore police station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between the hours of 8am and 4pm.
  • You are subject to a curfew. You must answer the door to a member of the Queensland Police Service, as required, between the hours of 9pm and 6am.

 

How do I change my bail conditions?

 Most of the time this would require an application to the court that granted bail to amend the current bail conditions.  In some cases the current bail may allow a senior police officer or the DPP to change a bail condition for example the police often have the power to change the address the person might have to reside at. Always seek legal advice on the best way to change a bail condition as a failure to comply with the bail conditions can lead to charges of breaching bail and the possibility the bail is revoked and the person remanded into prison.

 

Conclusion

As can be seen, bail conditions can be strict and can substantially interfere with a defendant’s life. However, bail conditions can not be imposed without reason, and if they appear too onerous or not fit for purpose, you can make an application to change them. You would undoubtedly be greatly assisted in this by engaging a solicitor. We at Clarity Law are criminal and traffic law experts, and can assist you with all aspects of a case, including bail applications and changing bail conditions.

Read 17 times Last modified on Thursday, 23 May 2024 14:45
Jacob Pruden

Jacob is a former barrister and now criminal defence lawyer with over 8 years experience appearing in courts throughout South East Queensland representing clients charged with criminal offences.