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Bail is the grant of conditional liberty to a person while they await the resolution of their criminal case. A person’s bail will usually have conditions attached to it such as attending court and not committing further offences. In some cases strict bail conditions will be imposed on a person to mitigate perceived risks, an example of this is electronic monitoring, or wearing an ‘ankle tag’, to monitor the person’s whereabouts. 


Every person who comes before the criminal justice system is deemed to be innocent unless and until they are proven guilty. The most fundamental right of the innocent is their liberty. In some circumstances however, a Court will rule that the risks of granting bail to the accused person are too great and they will be placed ‘on remand’. A person who is remanded will be held in prison until their case is determined. This can occur for a number of reasons including when it is feared that the accused will commit further serious offences, will not attend Court as directed, or has a poor history of compliance with bail. 

Any person being held in custody on charges which are yet to be determined can apply for bail. If the person is granted bail they will be required to sign a bail document as evidence that they have made an agreement with the Court that they will abide by their bail conditions. For adults, breaching bail is a crime. If bail is refused the person will remain in custody and another bail application will only be entertained if it is made to a higher court, or if there has been a significant change in circumstances from the last time they asked for bail. 

The Bail Act 1982 (NT) creates presumptions against bail being granted in many cases. These presumptions can be rebutted if sufficient material is presented which justifies bail being granted. Expert advice is highly recommended for any person seeking bail.

This content is intended as general legal information only and should not be considered as legal advice relevant to any particular case. Territory Criminal Lawyers takes no responsibility or liability for any legal decisions based in whole or in part upon this legal information.

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