Tag Archives: bail

The right to bail – what does it mean?

Do I have a right to bail?

This article refers to the position relating to the right to bail for adults.  The situation in relation to youths is different.

As an adult, the starting point is that you have a “right” to be granted bail. This right can only be taken away in certain circumstances. These circumstances are where the court has substantial grounds to believe that if you were granted bail you would:

  • Fail to surrender;
  • Commit further offences on bail; or
  • Interfere with witnesses

In some rare instances bail can be denied for a defendant’s own protection or welfare.

right to bail

What if I am already on bail?

 If you are charged with an offence alleged to have been committed whilst on bail, then you do not have this automatic right to bail.

In that case you do not have to be granted bail, but you can still be if you persuade the court that you will not fail to surrender, commit further offences or interfere with witnesses.

If you appear in court following a failure to surrender at an earlier hearing you also lose the automatic right to bail.

Does it matter if I am a drug user?

 If you have tested positive for class A drugs and refuse to co-operate with treatment you may not be granted bail unless the court is satisfied that there is no significant risk of an offence being committed whilst on bail.

Will I have conditions on my bail?

The court can grant bail unconditionally or they can impose bail conditions if they are satisfied that those conditions are necessary to address any risk that you would fail to surrender, commit further offences or interfere with witnesses.  Any conditions imposed have to be both necessary and proportionate.

Examples of bail conditions that are often imposed are:

  • curfew
  • residence
  • not to contact named witnesses
  • not to go to a specific area
  • reporting to the police station

You or a person on your behalf could also agree to pay money into the court which would be forfeited if you subsequently failed to attend court.

What if the offence isn’t serious?

right to bail You should be granted bail if there is no real likelihood of a prison sentence if you plead guilty or are convicted. As always there are exceptions to the rule. You may still find yourself in custody if the court is satisfied there are substantial grounds for believing that you would:

Commit an offence while on bail by engaging in conduct that would, or would be likely to cause-

  • physical or mental injury to an associated person; or
  • an associated person to fear physical or mental injury.

Commit further offences if the offence was committed whilst on bail;

Fail to surrender, if you have previous convictions for this;

If you have been arrested for breach of bail for this offence and there is a fear of failure to surrender, further offences or interference with witnesses.

Non-imprisonable offences and bail

If you are charged with a non-imprisonable offence you can only be denied bail if you have previously failed to surrender and there is a belief you would do so again or following a breach of bail.

Are there any other reasons I could be kept in custody?

right to bailYou can also be kept in custody for your own protection or if you are already a serving prisoner.  Also, if there is insufficient information to decide about bail you can be kept in custody for the purposes of obtaining that information.

The magistrates do not have the power to grant bail for anyone charged with murder or treason.  For an offence of manslaughter, rape or a serious sexual offence where there is a previous conviction for one of these offences you can only be granted bail if there are exceptional reasons to justify it.

Contact a criminal law specialist to discuss bail

This article is intended to be an overview of the law and does not cover all potential issues that can arise.  Neither does it discuss the best way to present an application for bail, nor the information that may need to be gathered to ensure your best bail application is made to the court.

To be able to put forward the strongest argument for bail you should be represented by an experienced solicitor.  We will be pleased to accept your instructions.  The contact details for your nearest office can be found here.

right to bail
VHS Fletchers East Midlands offices

Alternatively please you the contact form below.


Busy week for Chesterfield crime solicitor


Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Denney Lau
Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau

Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau has had another busy week,combining police station representation, Magistrates’ court cases and office appointments.

You can read more about this below.


Negotiated basis of plea

Denney’s first client of his working week was a person who had been arrested on a warrant that had been outstanding since November 2016 and was before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  Although he accepted being guilty of an offence of assault, he did not accept the full extent of the allegation.  Denney was able to negotiate a basis of plea that was acceptable to the prosecution and the court.  He pleaded guilty and received a financial penalty.

Legal aid was granted which meant that our representation was free of charge to our client.

Trial prepared but no client

Later that day, Denney was to represent another legally-aided client who faced trial for theft from a dwelling.  The witness was to give evidence over a live link from Oxford.  The trial was fully prepared, but in the our client didn’t attend and the trial could not go ahead.


Client released under investigation

On Tuesday morning a client sought our independent legal advice in police interview.  The allegation was one of commercial burglary chesterfield police station solicitorfrom the summer of 2017.  He had been detained at chesterfield police station allegation of non dwelling burglary.  Following advice, our client put forward an account denying responsibility for the offence.

Representations were made that our client should not be detained while a decision from the Crown Prosecution Service was sought.  Instead, he should be released under investigation so that the final decision can be communicated at a later date.

Criminal legal aid meant that this advice and representation was free of charge.

Suspended rather than immediate custody

chesterfield magistrates court solicitor
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

Again with the benefit of criminal legal aid, Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau represented a client who had breached his community order on two separate occasions.  To make matters worse, he had been unlawfully at large on a warrant without bail since September 2017.

The District Judge gave an immediate indication that he had no alternative but to send our client to prison immediately.  Having heard mitigation from Denney, instead he felt able to impose a suspended sentence leading to our client’s immediate release.

A night on call at Chesterfield police station

Lack of evidence on theft

Denney’s first client of the evening was a person who had been arrested for an allegation of theft.  A lack of evidence meant that our client chose not to answer police questions.  His continued detention was authorised to permit consideration of identification procedures and to see whether any further evidence was to be provided.

Representations secure bail from police

chesterfield police station legal aid solicitor
Chesterfield police station

His second client had been arrested for driving whilst disqualified but denied that allegation after receiving free and independent legal advice.  He was already being investigated for an identical offence.

Denney’s client was charged with both sets of offences.  The officer made representation to the custody sergeant that, bearing in mind the repeat allegations, our client should be detained for a remand application in the morning.

After hearing representations from Denney, the sergeant was persuaded to bail his client to court instead.


Chesterfield police station part two

Denney returned to Chesterfield police station to continue to represent the person detained for theft the night before.  There was a co-accused by now, although the co-accused was represented by a different firm of solicitor.

Our client was charged with several allegations of theft, as was his co-accused.  Denny was successful in persuading the police to grant his client bail, although the solicitor for the co-accused was less successful.  He was placed before the court for a remand application.

Favourable sentence in client’s absence

A client was due to be sentenced over the video link but refused to appear for the hearing.  The court decided to proceed in the client’s absence.  Denney continued to act in the best interests of his client.  This involved placing relevant mitigation before the court.  In the event, Denney secured a short custodial sentence that was almost equivalent to time already spent on remand, thus securing his client’s release within a further day or so.


Birthday celebration, so no court, no police stations and no clients.

Go-karting instead.


Successful bail application by Chesterfield crime solicitor

A client had been placed before the court for an application to remand him into custody after he was charged with being in breach of a dispersal notice.  There were several issues surrounding the lawfulness of the notice so he was advised to plead not guilty.  Bail was secured even though our client had no fixed address and a conviction would place him in breach of a suspended sentence.

Another client no-show

Denney had prepared a trial to be heard before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court although he required further information from his client.  His client failed to attend and the court allowed the prosecution to proceed in his absence.  Denney was not fully instructed so withdrew from the case.

Interviewed without a solicitor

A client had made an appointment to see Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney to discuss their case.  They had chosen to be interviewed without the benefit of free and independent legal advice and wanted to talk about the evidence and the procedure following a release under investigation.

Contact a Chesterfield criminal law specialist

chesterfield crime solicitor 5 Beetwell Street
VHS Fletchers, 5 Beetwell Street, Chesterfield

We gain our experience and enhance our reputation for being experts in the field of criminal law by representing clients in relation to a full range of offences on a daily basis,

If you want to instruct Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau in a case then the details of our new office in Chesterfield can be found here.  Alternatively you can use the contact form below.


You should always ask for VHS Fletchers in police interview because…

People appear reluctant to seek advice for a police interview.  Why?

You should always ask for VHS Fletchers in police interview because…

We are free.

free legal aid for police interviewNo matter what time of the day or night, or how long a solicitor has to spend providing you with expert advice and assistance, our services will be free to you as we hold a legal aid contract with the government.

The government recognises that the last thing a person will want to think about when detained by the police under investigation will be whether they can afford to be represented.

You don’t need to worry about that. Ever.

What other reason could you need?

We don’t mind being woken up.

Well, not really.

It is part of a criminal legal aid solicitors job to answer the phone in the middle of the night to give advice, and attend the police station where necessary.

VHS Fletchers is large enough to ensure that solicitors have a break from being on call. We also have the staff to make sure that a member of the firm deals with your case rather than pass your case to an agent.

It is one of your rights so you should use it.

You have the right to legal advice so it must be important. Make sure you exercise that right.

We are experts in the field of criminal law.

police interview solicitors nottingham newark chesterfield derby mansfieldIt is perhaps unlikely that you will have a knowledge of police practices, court procedure, rules of evidence and criminal charges. Our solicitors do. A person wouldn’t be shy about consulting a dentist, plumber or accountant depending on need. Why be shy about instructing a free solicitor in the middle of the night?

Even if you haven’t done anything wrong we can help you.

Choosing to have a solicitor doesn’t make you look guilty to the police. Choosing not to have a solicitor might make you a push over in terms of how the police deal with your case.

Why would you choose to go into the alien environment of a police custody suite or interview without the benefit of a trained expert in the field of criminal law?

If you haven’t done anything wrong, you might still struggle to explain yourself in the pressure of a police interview. Our presence and advice will help with that pressure.

We are entirely independent of the police.

Although we have a legal aid contract with the government, we are entirely independent of the police and the courts. You are our client, and the free advice and assistance that we give will be to help you.

…Because it is never a ‘quick chat’, despite what the police say

The only reason you are being interviewed is because the police suspect your involvement in a criminal offence. Any ‘quick chat’ is to investigate that. The outcome of the chat might be a police caution, or a charge for a serious offence, with serious consequences for your future.

We won’t delay your release.

The time that you are detained in the police station is entirely down to the police. During normal office hours, we have a number of solicitors and accredited representatives who are available to attend the police station at short notice to provide you with free advice and assistance.

free advice for police interviewsOut of hours VHS Fletchers operate an on-call rota system where we have four staff members on call at any one time, and the ability to call on more representatives to assist if need be.

If you are arrested further afield then we will ensure that you are represented by a solicitor who can help you immediately without causing delay.

We know that you will want to be released from the police station as soon as possible, and wouldn’t wish to delay that process. The police, on the other hand, often pass an investigation from officer to officer due to changing shifts or due to how they wish to organise themselves. It is likely to be this, and any investigation they are carrying out, that will cause delay.

If you are charged then what happened at the police station is likely to be very important to your case.

If your case comes before the court then your police interview is likely to be important, particularly if you are having a trial. It is likely to help you if you have given thoughtful and considered responses to police questioning having had an opportunity to discuss the evidence first.

police interview criminal defence lawyerIt might be that you have chosen not to answer police questions. This could be because the police have insufficient evidence when you are interviewed. If the evidence is then forthcoming, your solicitor could attend court to tell a jury about the account you gave in private consultation where this is the same as the defence you give in court.

We will give you time to think.

In nearly all cases the police will tell us some information about your case in advance. This may include the names of any witnesses and what they say happened. It can include forensic or telephone evidence. We may have the opportunity of viewing CCTV evidence.

police interview nottingham vhs fletchersYour legal representative will then have an opportunity to speak with you about the information disclosed and take your instructions. You will receive advice about what the evidence shows and whether you ought to give your account to the police.

It is only when you and your solicitor are happy that you are in a position to be interviewed will the interview take place. Should you need to discuss any aspect of your case during interview then you will be able to request that the interview be stopped for a further consultation.

Your solicitor might notice a point of evidence in police interview that you need to provide instructions on. In that case, they can request that the interview be stopped.

Without a solicitor, the police will not provide you with the evidence in advance and you will have to make your decision whether, and how, to answer questions during the interview. In those circumstances, it might be difficult to give your best account.

We can negotiate with the police on your behalf.

A solicitor will be important in negotiations for many reasons following police interview.  You might feel you need medical attention.  Perhaps the police need pointing in the right direction in terms of the investigation.  There might be a compelling need for your release.

It might be argued that there is insufficient evidence to charge you with an offence.  Alternatively, where the police are thinking of charging a serious offence we will have the opportunity to suggest less serious offences.

The police may want to keep you for court to seek a remand into prison custody.  We can suggest bail conditions on your behalf at the police station.

Alternatives to charge might be appropriate such as a police caution or a restorative justice measure. Again, we will argue for this on your behalf.

We are free, we are experts and we are on your side.

Make sure you call us, day or night.

Find you nearest office here.

Alternatively use the contact form below: