I am frequently asked – ‘can my bail conditions be varied?’ The short answer to this question is yes. You can apply to the court where you must surrender, to vary or revoke some of your bail conditions. You may be subject to strict bail conditions, which the bail decision maker thought appropriate at the time when granting you bail. However, occasionally with the passage of time, some stricter conditions may be eased, or your personal circumstances may change making it difficult for you to comply with your conditions.
Common Variations to Bail
Some common variations to bail are –
- change in address;
- easing of a curfew;
- reduction in reporting to a police station;
- removing or easing a requirement to attend treatment sessions.
How Do I Apply to Vary Bail?
An application to vary bail must be filed at the court where you must surrender. There is a prescribed form that must be completed and filed. Notice of your application to vary bail must be served on the informant (the police officer who charged you) and the relevant prosecuting agency at least 3 days before the application is heard in court.
It is prudent to write to the informant to explain the variation sought to determine if they consent to or oppose your variation application.
Notice of your application must also be served on your surety, if there is one.
In some instances, a Magistrate may vary bail during a hearing such as a plea hearing if sentence is being deferred. This may be because you have been subject to strict bail conditions for a long period of time and have demonstrated to no longer be a risk.
Bail Variation Hearing
If police consent to your proposed bail variation, the Magistrate or Judge will normally grant your application. This is provided you can justify your reason for wanting to vary your bail.
If police oppose your proposed bail variation, you will have to make submissions and present evidence in support of your application.
It is important to remember to sign your new bail before you leave court if your application is successful.
Contact us on 9317 9712 or 5200 0129 if you would like tailored advice about varying your bail. This article only provides general information about bail variations.