Bail pending trial is a constitutional right and not a privilege.
It hinges itself on the doctrine of presumption of innocence which entails that every person is innocent until proved otherwise by the court.
You may ask yourself if bail is a right and not a privilege why the court may refuse to grant bail on someone.
The aim here is to answer that question by providing circumstance which may lead the court to refuse to grant bail to someone.
Bail can simply mean a conditional discharge of an accused person pending trial or pending appeal.
Black Law Dictionary defines bail as the process by which an arrested person is released from custody either on the undertaking of a surety or on his or her own recognizance.
Apart from the presumption of innocence, another thing to bear in mind when dealing with bail is that every person has the right to enjoy his personal freedom.
It is obvious therefore that the test to be applied when granting bail or refusing bail should be fair to both the accused and the prosecution.
Thus, the granting of bail under criminal justice should be a rule when the conditions are met.
Once all required bail conditions are met court has no power to refuse bail if it refuses then that refusal becomes punishment to the accused person.
Why Court May Refuse To Grant Bail on Someone
The following are the circumstances under which the court may refuse bail on someone
- When you’re charged with Capital Offenses
- When you’re charged with unbailable offenses
- For Your Protection
- Bail Jumping
- Investigations Issues
- Possibility of Committing another Offense
- Nature of the Punishment to Be Imposed
- Reliability of Sureties
- Peace and Order
When you’re charged with Capital Offenses
Capital offenses are the offenses that attract capital punishment especially the death penalty.
The common capital offenses are murder and treasons. These offenses are strictly unbailable.
When you’re charged with unbailable offenses
Apart from capital offenses, there are other offenses that are statutory unbailable.
Examples of these are money laundry, illicit trafficking in drugs, armed robbery, human trafficking, etc.
These offenses are set to be unbailable due to their nature and demand for a republic.
For Your Protection
The court may refuse bail in order to protect you. In some instances, it may appear that granting bail may put your safety in danger.
The offense that you committed, although bailable, provoked the general member of the public and everybody hates you.
In this case, the court may refuse bail to protect your safety.
Bail jumping refers to the situation whereby a person who has previously been granted bail but has failed to observe the conditions of bail or has absconded as a result you suffer bail forfeit by the court.
The court will also look at your residence and domicile to determine the possibility of jumping bail.
For example, if your newbie or foreigner it’s likely that you might abscond, especially when faced with a serious offense.
The court will look at the allegations that when bail is granted it will temper with the investigations process and prosecution witnesses.
In deciding whether or not to grant bail court should look at the allegations on reasonable grounds that if you released on bail is likely to temper or attempt to tamper with or improperly influence witnesses, thus interfering with the due course of justice.
These allegations must base on reasonable grounds.
Possibility of Committing another Offense
Another factor that may be considered by the court is the likelihood of committing another offense while out on bail.
Nature of the Punishment to Be Imposed
The courts also look at the gravity of the punishment expected to be imposed once your conviction.
For example, a person faced with the death penalty, if convicted, is more likely to escape than the one faced with a mere fine.
Reliability of Sureties
Sureties are the key consideration when it comes to bail issues.
The court examines your sureties before accepting them and admits you on bail.
If they are unreliable the chances are the court will refuse to grant bail.
Peace and Order The court will look at whether or not you’re going to keep peace and good order in the society if released on bail.
This article explains the meaning of bail that bail is a conditional discharge of the accused person.
Further, it shows circumstances under which a court may refuse bail on someone.
Generally, the reasons to refuse bail can be kept into two major categories that are statutory restrictions and judicial considerations as explained above.
Do you think bail is supposed to be absolutely right/without restrictions? Comment below
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