Supreme Court Bail Applications

Supreme Court Bail Applications


Applying for Bail

After Arrest

After the police have arrested someone, they can:

  • give the person a Notice to Appear before a Court, where the Court will have them sign a bail undertaking;
  • grant the person watch house bail; or
  • oppose the person’s bail.

If police oppose bail, they will take the person before a Magistrates Court. The arrested person will then have the opportunity to apply to Court for bail.

Bail Refused in The Magistrates Court

Generally, the Court will ask a person if they want to make an application for bail right away. This can often result in a person making an application without legal representation.

If the Magistrates Court refuses a person bail, they can apply to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court will decide the application afresh. Their decision is not influenced by the decision of the Magistrate.


If a loved one has had their bail refused, we know you will want to bring on another application as soon as possible. Aitken Whyte Lawyers’ criminal defence team have the experience to make this happen. We will discuss with you:

  • realistic prospects of bail;
  • what preparation could improve those prospects; and
  • balancing proper and full preparation with listing the application as soon as possible.

What Factors Are Relevant to The Decision to Grant Bail?

Standard Applications

The starting point is that the prosecutor must show why the Court should not grant a person bail.

In most cases, the Court must grant a person bail unless there is an unacceptable risk the person will:

  • fail to appear at Court;
  • commit an offence while on bail;
  • endanger the safety or welfare of anyone else; or
  • interfere with witnesses or obstruct the course of justice.

Whether there is an unacceptable risk a person will do any of the above is a determination for the Court.

Show-Cause Applications

In certain cases, the onus reverses to the defendant, who must show they do not pose an unacceptable risk. In these cases, the Court must refuse bail unless the person shows cause to refute that they will do any of the above.

Where this is the case, the person is in a show-cause position.

Circumstances that can put a person in a show-case position include if:

There are other reasons you may be in a show-cause position, which we can discuss with you. We will let you know if this is the case and what you will need to prove to the Court to show they should not remand you.

When a person is in a show-cause position, it is more likely the Court will refuse bail and remand them in custody.

We have experience in Supreme Court bail applications for clients in this position. Our understanding of what the Court requires allows for optimal presentation for success. If a loved one is in custody, contact a lawyer to discuss their prospects of bail before the Supreme Court.

What the Court Will Look At

Important factors for the Court to consider include:

  • a person’s criminal history and previous grants of bail;
  • the strength of the evidence against the person; and
  • the likely delay until the Court finalises the charges.

Potential delay of the matter can act in a person’s favour. This is if they are at risk of spending more time in custody than they likely would if convicted of the offence(s). In these circumstances, a Court is more likely to bail the person until they deal with the matter finally.

Offering A Surety

It can increase the chances of bail if another person is willing to act as a Surety. A Surety deposits a sum of money to the Court which they forfeit if the defendant breaches their bail or gives security over their real property.

Who Can Be A Surety?

A Surety must be over 18 years of age and must not have any convictions for serious offences. The Court will not accept a person as a Surety if the forfeiture of money would ruin them.

Bail Conditions

The Court can impose any conditions on a person’s bail which it considers are necessary. Common bail conditions include:

  • that the person lives at their bail address;
  • that they are subject to bail curfew conditions; and
  • that they report to the local police station.

The Court may also need a person to:

  • submit to drug and alcohol testing; or
  • get treatment for mental health issues.

If your circumstances change after the Court grants you bail, it is possible to:

  • if allowed by your bail, write to the police to seek a variation to the conditions imposed; or otherwise
  • bring an application before Court to ask that the Court vary your bail conditions.

You may wish to vary the conditions imposed by your bail if you:

  • need to travel interstate;
  • need to stay at a different address; or
  • have employment commitments that make it difficult for you to meet reporting conditions.

Speak to us if you need help to vary the conditions of your bail. Remember, breaching any of the conditions is a serious criminal offence. A breach can even result in the Court revoking your bail, so it is important to have your bail varied if necessary.

Focused on Results

You should have experienced solicitors when dealing with any bail application. Particularly for applications:

  • before the Supreme Court; or
  • where you are in a show-cause position.

If you or a loved one are being held in custody after arrest, our Criminal Defence team can protect your rights.

Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane are focused on results. Our solicitors can assist you with all bail related matters. Call our Brisbane lawyers today, to discuss your needs.

Office Location and Contact Details


Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane
2/414 Upper Roma Street
Brisbane QLD 4000

Ph: 07 3229 4459
Fax: +617 3211 9311