What is bail?

Where the police arrest a suspect, but wish to release him or her whilst the case continues, they can release him/her on bail. This can be before charge, whilst further enquiries are made, or after charge. If charged, the police must decide whether bail to a court date is appropriate. If not, the police must place the defendant before the first available court where the magistrates must decide whether to grant bail or remand in custody. Bail can be with or without conditions. Conditions can include residing at a fixed address, keeping away from witnesses and defined locations or regularly reporting to a local police station. Breaching conditions, re-offending, interfering with witnesses or failing to answer bail can result in a remand in custody until the case concludes.