A person accused of committing a crime and who is being held in custody is generally entitled to be granted bail unless a Court refuses bail under section 4(1) of the Bail Act 1977 (Vic) on the basis that there is an ‘unacceptable risk’ that the accused person, if released on bail, would:
- fail to surrender himself/herself into custody and answer bail
- commit an offence while on bail
- endanger the safety or welfare of members of the public; or
- interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice.
The following factors are also considered:
- nature and seriousness of the offence that was committed
- accused’s character, prior convictions, home environment and background
- history of previous grants of bail
- how strong the police evidence is against him/her
- the attitude of the victim(s) to bail being granted
- any conditions imposed to address unacceptable risk.
In cases where a person is accused of committing a serious offence such as murder, arson, drug conspiracy, drug trafficking or terrorism, a court is required to refuse bail unless it is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist to justify the grant of bail.
In certain circumstances, accused persons charged with very serious offences must be refused bail, unless that person is able to ‘show cause’ under section 4(4) to the Court that their detention in custody is unjust and that they should be granted bail.