Bail Variation Applications in NSW

Bail Variation Applications in NSW

Bail Variation Applications in NSW

As circumstances change, it may become necessary for an accused person to change their bail conditions. Bail variation applications help ensure a person does not breach their bail conditions.

Find out more about what bail variations are possible, the process and who is eligible.

Let’s take a closer look. 

What Is A Bail Variation?

When a person is granted bail after being accused of an offence, they are allowed to stay out of prison until their criminal matter concludes, as long as they comply with the bail conditions. As circumstances change, the bail conditions may become unnecessary or difficult to comply with. A bail variation is a change of the bail conditions. For example, moving house and changing an address would require approval from the court and an application for a bail variation. 

The Bail Act allows courts to vary or change bail conditions. An authorised justice will decide the outcome, and may be any of the following people:

  • Local Court registrar
  • Children’s Court registrar
  • Officer declared by the minister
  • A person declared suitable by the regulations

How Do You Apply For A Bail Variation?

To change the bail conditions, the accused person must file a formal application with the local court. A lawyer can also complete the required paperwork and make the application with the police or the court. The court will require three working days or reasonable notice before they can list the matter.

What Bail Conditions Can Be Changed?

Several bail conditions are reviewable by a court or judge, such as residency, reporting, curfew or association. Suitable documentation should be provided to explain why the variation should be made.

Examples Of Bail Variations

When a person is granted bail, the conditions are specific to their circumstances and offence. Several different types of bail variations can be made, including the following:

  • Changes to the reporting condition to police, including reducing the days a person must report to a police station.
  • Changes to security conditions may include changing the amount or source of security, which can benefit the accused’s financial circumstances.
  • Changes to the curfew condition can allow for greater employment flexibility.
  • Changes to residence conditions that enable a person to go away for a short amount of time, or take a work trip interstate.
  • Changes to associations with certain people or places to provide improved employment and sociability opportunities.
  • Changes to mandatory drug or alcohol testing to encourage productive lifestyle choices.

Who Can Make The Application?

The Bail Act 2013 states that an “interested person” can make a bail variation application, which includes any of the following:

  • The accused person 
  • The prosecutor
  • The person needing protection 
  • The attorney general

How Long Does It Take?

Bail variations must be approved by the prosecution and the court. Once the application is filed it will take at least three working days for a variation to be approved. Depending on the circumstances, it may take more time to consider the application.

A court date is set and the judge will decide whether to grant the variation. 

What Factors Will Influence The Decision?

When deciding whether to approve a bail variation, the court must use the same principles when making the initial bail decision. They must establish whether the changes are necessary and reasonable, and ensure that the applicant will comply with the conditions, these factors must be considered carefully. The accused person must satisfy the show cause requirements and pass the unacceptable risk test.

A court must consider whether a bail variation may impact the following risks :

Fear of the accused person becoming a flight risk, leaving the immediate area before their court appearance date.

The risk of placing the accused person in society, with an increased likelihood of committing a serious offence.

Endangering the safety of the community or victims of the accused person.

Place the accused person in an environment where they may be tempted to interfere with witnesses or evidence. 

Summary

As circumstances change, the bail conditions may become unnecessary or difficult to comply with. A bail variation is a change of the bail conditions.

The Bail Act allows courts to vary or change bail conditions. An authorised justice will decide the outcome. This may be a local court registrar, an officer or other authorised justices.

When bail is granted, the conditions are specific to the accused person’s circumstances and offence. Several different types of bail variations can be made, including curfew conditions, resident conditions, enforcement conditions or changes to association conditions with certain people. To change bail conditions, the accused person must file a formal application with the local court.

When deciding whether to approve a bail variation, the court must use the same principles when making the initial bail decision. Establishing whether the changes are necessary and reasonable, and ensuring that the applicant will comply with the conditions must be carefully considered. A court must consider whether a bail variation may impact any risks, such as flight or safety of the community,

Bail variations must be approved by the prosecution and the court. Once the application is filed it will take at least three working days for a variation to be approved. 

FAQs

How Do I Apply To Vary Bail In NSW?

To change bail conditions, an accused person must file a formal application with the local court. A lawyer can also complete the required paperwork and apply to the police or the court. The court will require three working days’ notice before they can list the matter.

How Many Times Can You Apply For Bail Australia?

In Australia, a bail application can only be made to the same court once, unless the person satisfies one of the required conditions, such as changes to the legal representation, circumstances or new information has become available.

What Is Section 74 Of The Bail Act?

When bail has been refused, section 74 of the Bail Act allows an accused person to make a release application, only if circumstances have changed. Such as new legal representation or new material information available.

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