Recently, our Partner and Accredited Specialist, Paul Blake, appeared at Burwood Local Court for a bail application for our client in custody who was charged with seven serious offences, including assault occasioning actual bodily harm, supplying a prohibited drug above the indictable quantity, and dealing with suspected proceeds of crime of more than $1,000,000 in cash, as well as possessing or using a prohibited weapon without a permit.
Given the nature of these offences, Mr Blake offered compelling reasons why our client should be granted bail. Despite this being opposed strongly by the prosecutor, following a lengthy presentation of arguments including evidentiary materials and written submissions before the presiding Magistrate, bail was ultimately granted.
This outcome was nothing short of exceptional for the client, who expressed deep relief with the quality of his legal representation provided by Mr Blake and the team at Longton Legal.
What is bail and how can we help you?
When individuals face serious charges, typically a Sergeant from the NSW Police as a ‘Bail Authority’ is the first person tasked with the responsibility of determining whether bail should be granted following the deprivation of a person’s liberty. This decision must be made promptly following the individual’s arrest and charges. This is referred to as police bail.
Bail, in essence, offers individuals the opportunity to remain free in the community, usually subject to some specific conditions, rather than being held in custody pending the determination of a criminal charge at a contested hearing or sentence.
Police bail can be either granted, extended, or denied at various stages, including upon arrest, during your initial court appearance, or any subsequent court appearances.
When police refuse bail, they are obligated to bring the individual before a court. It is there that responsibility is passed to a Magistrate in the Local Court who will make his or her decision during a person’s first court appearance. If the Magistrate denies bail, individuals denied release have the option to apply to the Supreme Court for a further hearing to argue for their release.
Show cause offences and non-show cause offences
In the legal system, offences are categorised as either show-cause offences or non-show-cause offences based on their serious nature. The classification determines the presumption regarding bail eligibility.
1. Show Cause Offences
When the limited number of instances and offences falls into this more serious category, the presumption is that the defendant should not be granted bail based upon the overriding concern for community safety and protection – which, along with the presumption of innocence and the right of non-convicted persons to remain at liberty until they are found guilty – lies at the heart of the Bail Act regime in NSW.
An example of a show cause offence is any crime punishable by a term of life imprisonment. A comprehensive list of show-cause offences can be found in section 16B of the Bail Act 2013 (NSW). At Longton Legal, we look at every application as containing some basis of an opportunity to obtain the desired result if this is looked for carefully and the work is prepared properly.
2. Non-Show Cause Offences
Non-show cause offences are less serious in nature and far more common in the court lists. For these offences, the Court must grant bail unless it can demonstrate that the defendant poses an unacceptable risk to the public.
In other words, the default presumption for non-show cause offences is in favour of bail, and the burden of proof shifts to the prosecution to establish the risk to the public’s safety. This does not mean that these offences will mean bail is granted, even for a first-time offender. Each case can present an opportunity for the police prosecution to use some aspect of their allegation as a proven fact to establish a particularly pressing bail concern; whether this be attempting to contact a witness, commit a further offence or abscond from the jurisdiction.
The basis for these concerns can be flimsy in their origins and support but still pose a risk of denial of bail unless dealt with carefully by the lawyers briefed to run the release application.
Understanding the distinction between show cause and non-show cause offences is an initial phase of critical determination in assessing a client’s bail eligibility and the strength of the evidence required to secure bail in different legal situations.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have been arrested, faced bail refusal, or breached your bail conditions, do not hesitate to reach out to our expert legal team at Longton Legal. Our lawyers have extensive experience and a comprehensive knowledge of bail proceedings. We are well-equipped to offer expert legal assistance to release you from custody.
For urgent legal advice and immediate support, please contact our experienced bail application lawyers at (02) 9267 5555. We are here to help you navigate through this challenging time and strive to protect your rights and interests.
 s 44 Bail Act 2013 (NSW).
*Disclaimer: This is intended as general information only and not to be construed as legal advice. The above information is subject to changes over time. You should always seek professional advice before taking any course of action.*
Special Counsel | Accredited Criminal Law Specialist NSW
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