What is bail?
- Bail is a security given to the Court or to the Police to ensure that you return to the Court or to the Police station as and when required to do so after your release on bail.
- The security can either be in cash or by an undertaking. The bailor or surety is the person furnishing the security.
- The Court or the Police officer may allow more than one bailor or surety for the person bailed if the amount of security is large.
When will you be released on bail in a Police case?
- Some offences are bailable, which means that you have a right to ask for and be granted bail. However, some offences are non-bailable, which means that you do not have a right to ask for and be granted bail.
- A Magistrate or District Judge has the authority to decide to grant bail to you even if your offence is non-bailable unless the offence carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.
How is the bail amount fixed?
- The bail amount depends on the seriousness of the offence and a number of other factors.
- Bail may be increased or reduced at any time by applying to the Court.
- If the Police ask for bail in the sum of $5,000.00 or more, the ability (means) of the bailor to stand bail will first of all have to be checked by the Police and reported to the Court before granting the bail. A bailor may show his ability to stand bail by depositing cash or producing fixed deposit certificates, bank passbooks, and car log books, title deeds to a property, share certificates or valuables.
Where do you apply for bail?
All bail applications are submitted and processed by the Bail Centre in the State Courts.
When will your bail money be returned?
- The bailor’s duties end when the case is completed in Court. This means that the Court has made a final decision on the case, such as deciding that the accused is found to be not guilty of the offence (acquitted) or is guilty of the offence (convicted) and sentenced.
- The bailor can then take back the items which he has deposited with the Court. This is processed by the Finance Section of the State Courts.
When can the bailor stop his involvement in the case?
The bailor can withdraw from standing bail at any time before the case is completed. If you cannot find a substitute bailor, you will be held and detained in Prison (also known as remanded) until the case completes.
What is the purpose of Police Bail?
Police bail is used to ensure that you continue to turn up at the Police station to assist in Police investigations or to attend Court as your case is proceeding.
Who can be a bailor?
- The bailor must be either a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, and more than 21 years old.
- The bailor must not be an undischarged bankrupt, must not have any current proceedings in Court and should have personal assets worth at least the bail sum.
- The bailor will have to satisfy the Police that he is suitable to provide bail. A bailor may show his ability to stand bail by depositing cash or producing fixed deposit certificates, bank passbooks, car log books, title deeds to a property, share certificates or other valuables.
- A bailor should also bring along his NRIC as proof of identity.
- The bailor must also be prepared to accept the responsibility of a bailor until the case is over.
- If the amount of bail exceeds $10,000, a company or a business may stand as bailor. The company’s stamp will be needed. The authorised signatory of the company will have to sign the documents. The conditions of release on bail and the date of attendance at the Police station or court will be explained to the accused. A copy of the bail will be provided. Another copy will also be given to the bailor.
What conditions are imposed on you after you are realised on Police bail?
Once the bail has been processed, you will be released from Police custody, subject to the following conditions:
- You may be asked to surrender any travel documents in his possession.
- You will surrender into custody, make yourself available for investigations or attend Court at the date, time and place appointed for you to do so.
- You must not commit any offence while released on bail or on personal bond.
- You must not interfere with any witness or otherwise obstruct the course of justice whether in relation to yourself or any other person.
- You will not be allowed to leave Singapore without the written permission of the Police or the Court.
What are your bailor’s duties?
- The bailor must ensure that:
- You surrender to custody or makes yourself available for investigations or attends Court at the date, time, place appointed for you to do so
- He keeps in daily communication with you and lodges a Police report within 24 hours of losing contact with him
- You are within Singapore unless the released person has been permitted by Police to leave Singapore
- If the bailor is in breach of any of his duties, the Court may confiscate the whole or a part of the bail sum.
What happens if you fail to report at the Police station or to Court whilst on bail?
- The Police will apply to the Court for a warrant of arrest.
- You may also be charged in court for his non-attendance for which he can be punished with imprisonment for a term of up to 1 month or with a fine which may extend to $500 or with both.
- The bailor will need to show cause and explain to the Court why the bail amount should not be fully or partially forfeited.
If you would like to understand more about Criminal Law in Singapore how the issues discussed in this article may affect you, contact Singapore Criminal Defence Lawyer Jonathan Wong at [email protected] or +65 9424 6208 today.