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    Bail Application Lawyers Sydney & Parramatta

    If someone you know has been refused bail by the police, or has to appear at Parramatta Bail Court on the weekend, contact Astor Legal for expert advice.

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      Bail Application Lawyers Sydney

      Astor Legal’s team of specialist bail application lawyers have years of experience in making successful bail applications in even the most challenging of circumstances. This is reflected by:

      • our team being led by a Law society accredited specialist in criminal law, placing us in the top 6% of criminal lawyers;
      • our numerous awards and accolades;
      • our proven track record of successful bail applications. You can read about some of our recent cases at the bottom of this page;
      • over 150 genuine five-star client reviews.

      We are available 24/7 by phone on (02) 7804 2823 or by email at It is not unusual for people to be arrested and charged outside of normal working hours. This is why our lawyers are on standby for urgent bail applications and weekend bail applications.

      What is bail?

      Bail is a form of conditional liberty which is granted to a defendant when they are charged with a serious offence. A person can remain on bail for the amount of time that their case is proceeding before the Court.

      Once released on bail you will need to follow your bail conditions. These can include residing at a particular address or reporting to a police station.

      Urgent bail application

      If you need to make an urgent bail application in NSW, you should contact Astor Legal immediately on (02) 7804 2823 or email us at We are available 24/7.

      Weekend bail applications

      If you require a weekend bail application, contact Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823 or email us at We are available 24/7.

      Police can arrest you at any time, including Saturday and Sunday.  If after being arrested police choose to refuse you bail, they must still bring you before a court that day or the next day. If it is not a day that the court usually sits, you will appear at Parramatta bail court where a bail application can be made before a Magistrate.

      Can Police grant bail in NSW?

      Police can grant you bail and impose bail conditions on you. Once police arrest you, you should request bail. You may be granted “police bail” immediately depending on the seriousness of the offence and your criminal history. If you believe the conditions are too harsh, or they restrict you from working, an experienced bail lawyer can apply to have these conditions varied at Court. In some cases, criminal lawyers for bail applications can ask the court to ‘dispense with bail’, which means to eliminate bail completely.

      If you are ‘bail refused’ by police, you must be brought before a local court as soon as practicable to allow you to make an application for bail before a magistrate. This includes Parramatta weekend bail court which operates when courts are not sitting.

      How to get Bail?

      You can get bail by making a bail application at Court.

      You or your lawyer will be given a copy of the Police Fact Sheet which will set out the charges against you and what the police allege occurred. You will also receive a copy of your criminal history.

      Generally, the more serious the allegations, the less likely you are to be granted bail unless the bail application is prepared and presented forcefully by your lawyer.

      In determining whether to grant you bail, the Court must determine whether there are any ‘bail concerns’ present. Under Section 17 of the Bail Act 2013 (NSW), a bail concern is a ‘concern’ that if you are granted bail, you will:

      • Fail to appear at any future Court proceedings, or
      • Commit a serious offence, or
      • Endanger the safety of victims, individuals or the community, or
      • Interfere with witnesses or evidence

      Section 18 of the Bail Act sets out the factors that are taken into account when determining whether any ‘bail concerns’ exist:

      • your background, (ie. criminal history, circumstances and community ties),
      • nature and seriousness of the offence,
      • strength of the prosecution case,
      • whether you have a history of violence,
      • whether you have previously committed a serious offence while on bail,
      • whether you have a history of compliance or non-compliance with court orders, (eg. previous bail conditions, apprehended violence orders, parole orders or good behaviour bonds),
      • any warnings issued to you regarding non-compliance with conditions,
      • whether you have any criminal associations,
      • the length of time you are likely to spend in custody if bail is refused,
      • the likelihood of a custodial sentence being imposed if you are convicted of the offence alleged,
      • if you have been convicted of the offence, but not yet sentenced, the likelihood of a custodial sentence being imposed,
      • if you have been convicted of the offence and proceedings on an appeal against conviction or sentence are pending before a court, whether the appeal has a reasonably arguable prospect of success,
      • any special vulnerability or needs you may have including because of youth, being an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or having a cognitive or mental health impairment,
      • your need to be free to prepare for his or her appearance in court or to obtain legal advice,
      • your need to be free for any other lawful reason,
      • your conduct towards any victim of the offence, or any family member of a victim, after the offence,
      • in the case of a serious offence, the views of any victim of the offence or any family member of a victim, to the extent relevant to a concern that you could, if released from custody, endanger the safety of victims, individuals or the community,
      • the bail conditions that could reasonably be imposed to address any bail concerns
      • whether you have any associations with a terrorist organisation
      • whether you have made statements or carried out activities advocating support for terrorist acts or violent extremism,
      • whether you have any associations or affiliation with any persons or groups advocating support for terrorist acts or violent extremism.

      If the Court is satisfied that there are any ‘bail concerns’, then they must then assess whether any bail conditions can be put in place which would mitigate those concerns. If the Court finds that no bail conditions would mitigate against one or more bail concerns, then they will find that there is an ‘unacceptable risk’ and will refuse bail.

      How likely is it to get bail?

      Whether you are likely to be granted bail depends on the seriousness of the offence and your criminal history. Recent changes to bail legislation have made it increasingly difficult to obtain bail.

      This is because more serious offences such as serious drug offences, sexual offences, domestic violence offences and murder are now classed as ‘show cause’ offences.

      A magistrate is also less likely to grant bail if you have a lengthy criminal record, appear to be a flight risk or were already on bail or parole at the time of the alleged offence.

      ‘Show Cause’ bail

      In certain situations, you may be required to ‘show cause’ why your detention is ‘not justified’.

      These situations are primarily based on the offence you are charged with. However, if you have breached bail for another offence, then you may also be required ‘show cause’.

      If you are unable to ‘show cause’, then you will be refused bail.

      This was described in the Second Reading Speech of the Bail Amendment Bill 2014:

      “Division 1A introduces a “show cause” requirement for certain offences. New section 16A provides that for show cause offences bail must be refused unless the accused shows cause where his or her detention is not justified. This shift of onus is an important change.”

      What factors can be used to ‘show cause’ for bail?

      The Supreme Court has found that factors that can meet the ‘show cause’ test for bail include it being a person’s first time in gaol, a weak prosecution case, health issues which cannot be treated in custody and excessive delay. A combination of factors can also be used to ‘show cause’.

      Examples of bail conditions

      Some examples of bail conditions include:

      • A residence condition;
      • A condition that you report to a police station on a regular basis;
      • A place restriction which prevents you from attending certain locations;
      • A restriction on who you associate with, such as prosecution witnesses;
      • A condition that you or an acceptable person (a surety) agree to forfeit an amount of money;
      • A condition that you surrender your passport;
      • An “enforcement condition” which allows police to check that you are complying with your bail conditions
      • A curfew;
      • If you suffer from a mental illness, you are to comply with any directions of your psychologist or psychiatrist

      Conditions are generally broken up into four categories, being conduct requirements, security requirements, enforcement conditions and character acknowledgments.

      What is a bail surety?

      A surety is a term used to describe a person who forfeits (or agrees to forfeit) money (security) to the Court as a condition of your bail.

      The amount of money forfeited will depend on the nature and seriousness of the charges as well as your personal background.

      Amounts can be as small as a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars.

      A property (most commonly a house) can also be put up as security by someone acting as a surety. The person who acts a surety must be an ‘acceptable person’.

      Who can be an ‘acceptable person’ for bail?

      An acceptable person must have no criminal convictions, pending criminal charges or have been subject to bankruptcy proceedings. They must also have known you for some time (ie. more than a few months).

      Breach of bail conditions

      If you breach your bail conditions, police can:

      • Take no action, or
      • Issue a warning to you, or
      • Issue a court attendance notice requiring you to appear at court, or
      • Apply for a warrant for your arrest, or
      • Arrest you and bring you to court where you will need to re-apply for bail.

      Breaching your bail conditions is treated very seriously by Police and the Courts. Police do have the power to arrest you for a breach of bail. However, if the breach is minor, or due to an honest mistake (such as forgetting to report on a particular day), an experienced lawyer can often speak to Police and have them either take no action or issue you with a warning.

      Police can often be persuaded to take no action or simply issue a warning depending on the seriousness of the breach, whether you had a reasonable excuse for the breach and any compelling extenuating circumstances.

      If police choose to bail refuse you after you breach a bail condition, a Magistrate can :

      • Release you on the same bail conditions as you were on; or
      • Vary your existing bail conditions; or
      • Add further bail conditions; or
      • Refuse bail.

      A breach of a bail condition is a criminal offence if you did not appear at court when required and without a reasonable excuse for failing to appear.

      The maximum penalty for failing to appear before the court is the same as the maximum penalty for the offence for which bail was granted.

      The Court can also order the amount of security you or your surety agreed to provide as a condition of your bail is forfeited. The Court will notify you by post of any such order.

      You have 28 days to object to this order.

      If this amount is not paid in full, the State Debt Recovery Office will take action against you and/or your ‘surety’.

      What if I can’t comply with my bail conditions?

      If at any time you cannot comply with your bail conditions, you need to notify your lawyer immediately so they can make an application to vary your bail conditions or liaise with police so that you are not arrested.

      For example, if you are sick and cannot report to police, you must obtain a medical certificate and give it to police immediately. Your lawyer can provide it to the officer in charge by email.

      In other situations, you may have a residence condition but are moving to a new address. In this case, you must file an application to vary your bail conditions with the court and serve a copy on police.

      The prosecution usually require at least 3 working days notice of any application to vary bail. This is so they can investigate whether there are any bail concerns enlivened by the application to vary bail conditions.

      Refused bail

      Refused bail means that you will stay in Police custody until a bail application is made.

      A bail application must first be heard in the Local Court. If your local court application is rejected, you can only make a further bail application if you satisfy the criteria under Section 74 of the Bail Act 2013.

      You can make more than one bail application in the Local Court if:

      • The defendant did not have a lawyer at the bail application, and you now have a lawyer; or
      • there is new relevant information that was not presented to the court on the last bail application; or
      • there has been a change of circumstances; or
      • the defendant is a child and only applied for bail on the first court date.

      If you do not have grounds to make a further Local Court bail application, you can make a Supreme Court bail application. Generally, a Supreme Court bail application hearing date will be listed approximately one month after it is filed.

      Supreme Court Bail Applications

      A Supreme Court bail application can only be made if a Local Court bail application has been refused.

      To make a Supreme Court bail application, the following steps must be followed:

      1. Prepare and file a written Supreme Court bail application pdf form with the Registry;
      2. The Court will provide a Callover listing and a listing for the release application itself;
      3. All documents must be filed by the Callover date. Both the Crown and the applicant must confirm the application can proceed;
      4. The case will then receive a date in the Supreme Court bail list where the application will be heard.

      You can only make one Supreme Court bail application unless you satisfy the criteria under Section 74 of the Bail Act 2013.

      As such it is crucial that an experienced bail application lawyer thoroughly prepares all material required and makes persuasive submissions in the Supreme Court of NSW.

      This can include the preparation of medical or psychological reports, acceptable person character references and affidavits in support of your release.

      How to get bail money back?

      You can get bail money back by contacting the relevant court registry where the funds were deposited and requesting a cheque to be made out to the person who forfeited the bail money.

      You are only entitled to have bail money refunded if you have complied with your bail conditions until the end of your matter.

      If property was used as security for bail (eg. the title deed for a property), the court would have a ‘caveat’ over the property. This is a  “freeze” on the property and prevents anyone else from dealing with that property that may be contrary to the interest of the person who lodged the caveat.

      In order to remove the Court’s caveat, you must:

      • Go to the Registry of the Court where your case was finalised and obtain a ‘bail refund letter’;
      • Complete the ‘Withdrawal of Caveat’ form, which can be obtained from the Supreme Court Bail registry;
      • Attend the Supreme Court Bail registry with the completed ‘Withdrawal of Caveat’ form and two forms of identification. The Deputy Registrar will sign the ‘Withdrawal of Caveat’ form and return it together with your bail documents;
      • Take all documents to the ‘Land and Property Information’ building (formerly the ‘Land Titles Office’) Queens Square, Sydney (across Macquarie Street) to have the ‘caveat’ removed.

      You can also make a request to the court during the course of your matter for the return of some or all of the funds deposited. This will require a bail variation to be filed with the court along with supporting documentation from the surety as well as any evidence explaining why the bail money needs to be returned. This is commonly granted where there have been no breaches of bail and there is a legitimate reason for the return of the money such as financial hardship or funding for a trial.


      Frequently Asked Questions

      How long does bail last?

      Unless you breach or vary your bail, you will remain on bail until your case is finished.

      How to vary bail conditions?

      You can make an application to the Court to vary your bail conditions pursuant to Section 52 of the Bail Act. Some variations are more difficult than others. For example, the Police and the Court will usually agree to allow you to change your residential address but are less likely to consent to you travelling overseas.

      What is a bail review?

      A bail review is an application to amend your bail conditions. This can sometimes be with the consent of police. If police do not consent then the court can amend your bail conditions, even if police oppose it.

      Released on bail what happens next?

      If police or the court grant bail, you will be released on bail and required to appear in court on the next court date. If you are granted bail at court and a lawyer appears for you, they can request your attendance at the next court date be excused if you are represented by a lawyer.

      In some cases, the court can make orders for the brief of evidence to be served before the second court date. This will allow you and your lawyer to review the police evidence and prepare a defence strategy.

      How long do bail conditions last?

      If you are granted bail and do not breach your conditions you will remain on bail until your case concludes.

       How much does bail cost?

      There is no set amount for bail charges. The amount required will be based on your means as well as your perceived flight risk.

      It should be noted that a surety will only be required to forfeit bail money where no other bail conditions will address the risk of flight.

      An experienced criminal defence lawyer can provide an estimate of how much bail will cost based on the charges against you, the police facts and your subjective circumstances.

      How Long Does a Bail Application Take?

      A Local Court bail application can be listed within a week, whereas a Supreme Court bail application takes at least four weeks to be listed.

      In terms of time spent in court, a Local court bail application will take at least 30 minutes as the Magistrate will need to hear arguments, read documents and consider the proposed bail conditions.

      A Supreme Court bail application takes roughly an hour as even though a Judge will generally have read the documents beforehand, the issues will be more complex and arguments more involved.

       What should I do if I am arrested?

      If you have been arrested, you should politely ask to call a criminal lawyer. Do not resist police as this may result in additional charges. Your family, a friend or even a colleague can also call a lawyer on your behalf.

      Your lawyers can provide initial advice on the case and also liaise with police as to your prospects of receiving police bail. In the event you are likely to be bail refused, they can begin preparing a bail application immediately.

      Bail case studies

      • Bail granted for online grooming offences

        Our client was a 58 year old male target of a covert police operation over the Christmas/New Year period.

        Police, operating under an assumed online identity, pretended to be a 14 year old child. Our client and the “child” engaged in detailed and explicit sexual conversations on several occasions and planned to meet.

        After refusing to attend the meeting, our client was arrested by police from Sex Crimes and refused police bail after being charged with Using a Carriage Service to Procure Person Under 16 for sexual activity. It is strictly indictable and carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment.

        Our client gave police an interview before getting legal advice. He made full admissions to taking part in the explicit sexual conversations.

        Because he was refused police bail, our lawyer appeared for the client at bail court made an application for release. This application was opposed by police.

        It was abundantly clear to our lawyer that any risk, despite the seriousness of the charge, could be reasonably mitigated by the imposition of bail conditions. The police prosecutor made submissions to the contrary however the Magistrate granted our client bail and he was able to be back with his family later that same day.

      • Bail Granted for Sexual Assault Charges Despite Extradition

        Recently Astor Legal appeared at Downing Centre Local Court in relation to a bail application.

        Our client was charged with sexual intercourse without consent after a tinder date. Prior to police arresting him, our client flew to another jurisdiction to meet his sister.

        Police were unable to locate him and released a statement to the media asking for public assistance in locating him. This was unsuccessful which led to them applying for and being granted an extradition warrant. He was arrested and brought to Sydney.

        In preparation for the release application, we obtained documentation from our client’s sister who confirmed that he had pre-booked his flight. Further, upon finding out that police were searching for him, our client voluntarily contacted police.

        We also arranged for our client to have a residential address in Sydney to reside at and abide by a curfew. He also surrendered his passport to police.

        We appeared at Downing Centre Local Court and our lawyer for the bail application applied for his release.

        We were successfully able to show cause why our client should be released, and proposed bail conditions that mitigated any unacceptable concerns.

        In the result our client was granted bail.

        A few days later we were able to vary our client’s bail to allow him to return to live with his sister while his case is proceeding through the court.

      • Bail Granted for Multiple Contravene AVO Charges

        Last week Astor Legal appeared at Liverpool Local Court in relation to a bail application.

        Our client had initially been charged with Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm and Intimidation. He was granted bail by police. Shortly afterwards he was charged with contravene AVO.

        A few weeks later he was charged with another breach AVO offence and promptly bail refused.

        His previous legal representatives made a bail application which was refused. His family then came to us desperate for him to be released.

        Our criminal lawyers in Liverpool advised them that we would need to obtain evidence to get over the hurdle of Section 74 of the Bail Act 2013. This involves establishing that either:

        “(a) the person was not legally represented when the previous application was dealt with and the person now has legal representation, or

        (b) material information relevant to the grant of bail is to be presented in the application that was not presented to the court in the previous application, or

        (c) circumstances relevant to the grant of bail have changed since the previous application was made, or

        (d) the person is a child and the previous application was made on a first appearance for the offence.”

        We were able to obtain an affidavit from our client’s wife which set out that she resided in India and required our client to be free. We also obtained medical documents which set out that our client’s mother was ill and required him to take care of her.

        We appeared at Liverpool Local Court and made an urgent bail application on his behalf.

        We were successfully able to show cause why our client should be released, and proposed bail conditions that mitigated any unacceptable concerns.

        In the result our client was released on bail that day and his family were overjoyed.

      • Bail Granted Again for Drug Charges Despite Breaches of ICO and Bail

        Last week Astor Legal appeared at Fairfield Local Court in relation to a detention application.

        Our client was on a 2 year Intensive Corrections Order (ICO) for a number of serious drug charges and property offences.

        When he was 3 months into the order he was charged with further drug offences. At that time, we had appeared at Central Local Court and made a successful bail application. His bail conditions included a residence condition and that he not consume any prohibited drugs.

        Unfortunately, during lockdown he had struggled with mental health problems and resorted to drug use. Police stopped him after surveillance noticed him leaving a known drug premises. He was searched and police found prohibited drugs as well as identification documents on his person.

        He was charged with these matters and as well as a breach of a public health order for leaving a locked down LGA without a reasonable excuse.

        His family contacted us and we began preparing to oppose the detention application which was listed the next day.

        We appeared at Fairfield Local Court and made detailed submissions in support of our client being released.

        We tendered psychological and medical material setting out that our client would not receive adequate treatment in custody for his bipolar disorder and osteoporosis.

        Despite our client’s lengthy criminal history and the fact that he had breached both his bail conditions and the ICO for similar offences, the Magistrate was persuaded to grant him bail, allowing him to re-join his family.

        We are now assisting our client in enrolling in a residential rehabilitation facility

      • Bail Granted for Drug Supply Charge Despite Breach of ICO

        Last week Astor Legal appeared at Picton Local Court in relation to a bail application.

        Our client was on a 27 month Intensive Corrections Order (ICO) for charges of Supply Prohibited Drug, Resist Arrest and Drive While Disqualified. When he was 9 months into the ICO, police executed a search warrant on his premises.

        They located approximately 40 grams of methylamphetamine, a number of restricted substances, $2,000 in cash and a laser pointer. He was charged with Drug Supply, Proceeds of Crime, and Possess Prohibited Weapon. Police refused him bail upon arrest.

        His family contacted us after speaking to a number of other firms who advised he had no prospect of getting bail. We took a different view.

        Our team first began addressing the issue of show cause by obtaining a significant amount of medical documents which showed that he was more susceptible to COVID. We also obtained letters from family members of his who lived in regional NSW. They were willing to have them live with him with conditions akin to house arrest.

        We appeared at Picton Local Court and made detailed submissions in support of our client being released.

        Despite our client’s lengthy criminal history and the fact that he was on an ICO for similar offences, the Magistrate was persuaded to grant him bail, allowing him to re-join his family.

      • Bail granted for Commercial Drug Supply, then charges withdrawn

        Our client is a 29-year old Uber driver from Sutherland.

        Police conducted a lawful search of a vehicle parked at the front of our client’s house.
        In the vehicle, they found over a kilogram of cocaine secreted under the driver’s seat.
        Our client was subsequently charged with Supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs.

        The supply was ‘deemed’ under section 29 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985.
        Our client was bail refused by Police and was taken to Parramatta Local Court the next morning where we made a bail application for him.

        Speaking to him before the bail application, our client told us that he had no idea the drugs were there.

        We were able to have bail granted on strict conditions by arguing that our client could invoke the Filipeti defence. This is where Police are unable to prove that you had ‘exclusive possession’ of the drug.

        Essentially, it could be argued that someone else had left the drugs in the vehicle. This was particularly relevant given our client’s work as an Uber driver. Orders were made for Police to serve the brief of evidence on us.

        The brief of evidence was served and it contained a DNA certificate which suggested that our client’s DNA was on the parcel.

        We immediately subpoenaed the DNA lab results and procedures. We then arranged for our specialist DNA experts to examine the results. Our expert concluded that there were multiple other DNA profiles on the packaging and that ‘secondary DNA transfer’ could not be excluded.

        We drafted detailed written representations for the charge to be withdrawn on the basis that the prosecution could not overcome the Filipeti defence. We also attached our DNA expert’s report and advised the Crown that if charges were not withdrawn, we would seek costs.

        Ultimately, the prosecution accepted our representations and withdrew the charge against our client. This saved our client tens of thousands of dollars as well as the stress that comes with facing a trial.

        While this is a rare case, it does show that having an accredited specialist criminal lawyer in your corner can make a massive difference.

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