If you cannot meet your bail conditions because of Covid-19, speak to our team of 24/7 criminal law solicitors. You may be excused from answering bail if you have symptoms of the coronavirus, or somebody you live with is exhibiting symptoms. Otherwise, you are expected to report to the police station at the agreed time.
To ensure you are not arrested for failing to answer bail, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. We specialise in criminal law and are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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Being released on police bail happens when the arresting police station allows the person who is charged or may be charged with an offence to return home to await their court hearing, rather than waiting in custody.
Most people find this preferable for obvious reasons. However, the police have guidelines about who bail can be granted to and in what circumstances. The individual on bail is also given strict rules to adhere to.
In what circumstances can you be denied police bail?
If a person has been charged with a crime, bail may not be granted depending on factors such as the following:
- If the police have any doubts about the identity or address of the individual, they may not release them on bail as this may make it difficult to apprehend the individual later.
- If there are circumstances or evidence to suggest that the individual needs to be detained for their own, or someone else’s protection then bail may not be granted (such as in cases where the charges relate to violent crime).
- If there are legitimate concerns that the individual will fail to attend court or make attempts to interfere with the administration of justice (such as contacting witnesses or destruction of evidence).
Conditions of police bail
Bail may be granted with conditions, which the individual must adhere to in order to continue to remain on bail.
These bail conditions may be specific to the related charges, for example: living at a particular address, refraining from contact with certain people, refraining from visiting certain areas (such as pubs or town centres), surrendering a passport and most importantly for this article, reporting to a police station at agreed times.
This is referred to as answering police bail – a way for the police to check up on the individual, make sure they have not fled and that they are still cooperating with the police.
What happens if I fail to answer bail?
Under normal circumstances, failure to answer bail at the police station can result in some fairly severe actions.
In short, the police have the power to arrest a person who fails to attend a police station at an appointed time, and no warrant is required for this.
The police may circulate that individual and effectively fast-track any potential charging decision. As a result, the individual will be remanded to appear before the next available court sitting, where it will be decided whether he/she should be re-admitted to bail or not.
What if you cannot answer bail due to Covid-19?
We have already established what police bail is and what happens if people do not answer bail at the police station when they are required to do so, but the current Covid-19 lockdown in the UK raises a few complications that require clarification.
Unless you are told by the police station that you are not expected to answer bail at the appointed time and place then you must assume that you are expected to do so. Failure to attend will be considered a breach of your bail conditions.
However, there are some exceptions:
- If you are exhibiting coronavirus symptoms as outlined by the NHS, or;
- Somebody you live with is exhibiting coronavirus symptoms
If either of the above applies then it is likely that you will be advised to stay at home and self-isolate, provided that you have contacted the police station to inform them of this.
You MUST inform the police station in good time, usually at least 24 hours in advance and it is recommended that you inform and consult with your lawyer wherever possible.
These steps are being taken to help stop the spread of the coronavirus wherever possible, but informing the police station and allowing them to make the decision about your attendance can be vital. Are you unsure if there are any valid reasons not to attend court ?
If you are concerned about meeting your bail conditions, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors for expert legal advice.
For a free initial enquiry, call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.