Have you been charged with Failure to Answer Bail?
If so, there are several questions you will need to consider:
Can the prosecution establish all elements of the offence? Did you have a legitimate excuse for failing to comply with your bail conditions? Were you unaware of the conditions imposed by your bail agreement?
If you are found guilty of this offence you could be facing a prison term. It is highly recommended that you engage a specialist criminal lawyer to help you answer the above questions, discuss with you how you intend to plead, and mount a defence on your behalf.
For more information, please read below.
Section 30 of the Bail Act 1977.
The prosecution must prove:
The defendant was on bail;
The defendant was required to surrender themselves in accordance with that bail agreement; and
The defendant failed to do so.
The maximum penalty
The maximum penalty for a Failure to Answer Bail is 12 months imprisonment.
Where will my case be heard?
A charge of Failure to Answer Bail will be heard in the Magistrates’ Court County Court or the Supreme Court depending on the type of charge and stage of hearing.
What to do next?
If you have been charged with failure to answer bail you should contact an experienced criminal lawyer immediately to begin preparation for your matter. Make sure you leave adequate time to prepare a strong defence on your behalf.
Section 30 Failure to answer bail
Any person released on bail who fails without reasonable cause, the proof whereof lies upon him, to attend in accordance with his undertaking of bail and surrender himself into custody shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.
Penalty: Imprisonment for twelve months.
In any proceedings against a person for an offence against this section—
(i) a document purporting to be or to be a copy of an undertaking of bail entered into by the accused and to be certified by an officer of the court having the custody of the document to be the undertaking or a copy of the undertaking with which it is alleged in the proceedings that the accused has failed to comply shall be prima facie evidence of the entry of the accused into the undertaking and of the conditions of the undertaking; and
(ii) a document purporting to be or to be a copy of a declaration of forfeiture made by a court of an undertaking of bail entered into by the accused and certified by an officer of the court having the custody of the document to relate to the undertaking of bail with which it is alleged in the proceedings that the accused has failed to comply shall be prima facie evidence of the failure of the accused to attend in answer to his bail and surrender himself into custody.
- In any proceedings against a person for failing to answer bail for attendance at a trial a certificate purporting to be signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions as to the giving of notice of the time and place fixed for the conduct of the trial shall be prima facie evidence of the service of the notice.