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Information » Law & Rights » Your Legal Rights and Legal Advice » Bail

  • When you have been arrested and charged with an offence there will usually be a time delay before your case is heard in court or you get a reprimand or a final warning. During this time you can be kept on remand in a secure institution or you may be given bail.

There are two types of bail:

  • Unconditional Bail this means you can go home and continue with your normal life until your case is heard in court or you get a reprimand or final warning.
  • Conditional Bail has specified conditions, these can include:
    • Having to stay indoors at certain times of the day or night (a curfew)
    • Reporting to the police station or court at specified times each week
    • You could be 'tagged' while you are on bail so you can be tracked and you have to be indoors at a certain time.
    • You may have to stay away from the victim and the witnesses
    • You can be told to live at home or with someone else during this time
    • There are also bail hostels that you may be sent to see below
  • Your solicitor will negotiate your bail; this will also include the Youth Offending Team if you aged between 11 and 18.
  • If you do not keep the bail conditions, you can be arrested and not allowed to go home until your case has concluded.

Bail is Refused

  • Bail can be refused for the following reasons:
    • You have committed a crime whilst on bail before
    • It is thought that there is a need to protect property or persons from damage and injury
    • Your name and address are in doubt
    • It is thought that you will not turn up in court.
  • If you do not get bail you are held on remand
  • If you are 17 or under on remand, you will usually be held in a children's home or with foster parents. Exceptionally you might be held in a secure unit.
  • Remand can also be prison if you are 15 or over (if you are 15 or 16 this is usually in a special remand centre in a young offender's institution)
  • Remand can go until your case is finished.
  • This might be a few days or at the other extreme about 9 months.
  • This may seem unfair because at this stage you have not been found guilty of anything.
  • It is important that while you are waiting for your case that you try to remain positive, especially if you are innocent.
  • Being held somewhere can be difficult if you are young and not used to the restrictions on your freedom.

Bail Hostels

  • Bail hostels provide an 'enhanced' level of supervision for offenders and people on bail. They provide places for individuals at the various different stages of the criminal justice process including:
    • Person on bail awaiting a court case
    • Convicted person undergoing assessment
    • Offenders on probation
    • Released prisoners on licence
  • Hostels operate strict rules governing behaviour, curfews are enforced and work programmes are agreed in order to reduce offending.
  • Residents can also receive advice on personal issues, as well as employment training and help moving on into permanent accommodation.

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