Failure to answer bail

If you have been charged with failure to answer bail, here is some information to know and consider in seeking legal advice with Emma Turnbull Lawyers.

Elements of the offence

For the prosecution to prove the offence of failure to answer bail, they must satisfy two elements of the offence. They can be found in s 30 of the Bail act 1977 (Vic) and are as follows:

  1. The person released on bail failed to attend in accordance with their undertaking of bail to surrender themselves into custody; and
  2. The person did so without reasonable excuse.

Will I have to go to court?

Charges for failure to answer bail will usually be heard in the Magistrates’ Court, and will be heard summarily

Once the case goes to court, it is up to the prosecution to prove the elements of the offence. It is important that you seek expert legal advice in building a defence as the circumstances surrounding the events that led to the charge can assist in a strong defence argument, especially if there was a medical emergency that prevented attending as required.

Maximum penalty:

The maximum penalty this offence carries is 2 years imprisonment, known as a Level 7 imprisonment.

What sentences are usually given?

According to the Sentencing Council Victoria, between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2016, 181 people were sentenced with failure to answer bail as the principal offence. From that number, 59.7% were given imprisonment sentences. Non-imprisonment sentences included Community Corrections Orders (12.2%) and fines (12.2%).

What do I do now?

To ensure the best chance of a successful defence, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. At Emma Turnbull Lawyers, we have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in defending this charge.