If you are arrested by police and charged with an offence, the police will decide whether or not you will be released on bail until your court date. The police need to consider two factors, detailed below, when deciding whether to grant bail. If the police decide not to grant bail, you will be brought before a magistrate as soon as practicable. This may be the same day you are arrested, or it may be the following day depending on the circumstances.

If you wish to make a release application in the Local Court, the court will consider the same two factors as police which are:

1.     Whether the offence you are charged with is a ‘show cause’ offence, and
2.     Whether the ‘bail concerns’ can be adequately addressed.

Show Cause

You may or may not need to “show cause” depending on what type of offence you have been charged with and whether you are already on bail or parole for another offence when you were charged. Many serious offences including drug importation, or offences involving sex, violence or firearms are “show cause” offences.

As the applicant, you will need to show cause as to why your detention in custody is not justified.

Bail concerns

After deciding whether you have been able to show cause, the court must then consider “bail concerns” which are:

  • That you will attend court when you are required

  • Whether or not it is likely that you will commit any serious offence if you were released on bail

  • Whether or not you will endanger any person in the community and

  • Whether or not you will interfere with witnesses or evidence.

If the court has no concerns with these issues or if the court thinks that the concerns can be overcome by imposing conditions on your bail, the court must give you bail.


The court may impose conditions like:

  • The place where you will live

  • Reporting to police

  • Not to associate with particular people

  • A surety or undertaking to forfeit money

Supreme Court bail

If you make a release application in the Local Court and the magistrate decides not to grant bail, you have a right to make an application in the Supreme Court. The Court will have regard to the same factors as outlined above and may hear additional evidence to satisfy the bail concerns.

If you or a friend or family member have been arrested and refused bail, contact us immediately to discuss the options available. We can work out with you the quickest and most effective way to make a release application.