Arrest and Bail

Have you been arrested in South Australia?

The police may arrest you if they:

  • Believe that you have broken the law;

  • Have a warrant (court document) for your arrest;

  • Believe you are mentally ill and might harm yourself or someone else.

If an incident has occurred and the police ask for your name and address, you must provide them with this information.

Ask what you are being arrested for. Do not struggle or argue with police. You are not required or obliged to answer any questions other than your name, DOB and address.

If you are not under arrest, you do not have to go to police station, even if you are asked to.

Remember that everything you say will be recorded by the police and may be used against you. There is no such thing as an ‘off the record’ conversation.

Make note of ID numbers of police if they are violent or behave improperly with you.

Politely ask police why they are doing anything.

Make note of what occurred as soon as possible.

Contact your lawyer as soon as possible.

If you need anymore information or have been arrested, contact us for advice as to your rights and obligations.


What is bail?

If you have been arrested, you may apply bail. Bail is where an accused person is granted permission by the bail authority (either the police or the courts) to be released into or remain in the community whilst charges against them are still pending.

Bail Agreement

Typically, you will enter into a Bail Agreement which is an undertaking to the court that you will be present for all relevant court attendances and that you will comply with any conditions set out in the agreement per the Bail Act 1985 SA.

Generally, bail agreements specify a monetary amount which will be charged if you breach your bail. A ‘cash bail’ or ‘bond’ is a sum of money you will need to pay ‘up front’ when entering into the bail agreement. Provided you do not breach your bail agreement, you will get this money back when your matter is finished.

Presumption of Bail

There is a presumption of bail that bail should be granted unless there are good reasons for refusing release from custody. The prosecution must establish reasons why bail should be refused.

Presumption Against Bail

Factors relevant in rebutting the presumption of bail include:

  • The gravity (seriousness) of the offence;

  • The likelihood you would abscond, reoffend, interfere with evidence, interfere with witnesses, hinder police inquiries, or breach an intervention order;

  • Whether you need physical protection;

  • Any medical or other care you require;

  • Whether you have previously breached your bail conditions;

  • Whether there are any victims have a need (perceived or otherwise) for physical protection *this is a primary consideration;

  • Any other relevant matter.


Breach of Bail

It is an offence if you do not comply with your bail agreement without reasonable excuse pursuant to s 17 of the Bail Act 1985 (SA).

Maximum penalty: $10,000- or 2-years’ imprisonment.

If you need anymore information on bail, contact us for advice as to your rights and obligations.