The police will talk to you if the defendant is going to be released on bail. You can tell police if you have any safety concerns and talk about what bail conditions could help make you and your family feel safer. If you're a victim of a serious crime you'll be told if the defendant is released on bail.
Bail is when police or the court release someone who's charged with a crime on the condition that they go to court. Once a person has been charged with an offence they are known as the defendant.
The police will not grant bail to a person who is charged with a serious offence and who has a history of violent offending.
If the case is not resolved at the defendant's first court appearance, the court may release the person until their next appearance.
The court may refuse bail and hold the defendant in custody if the court is satisfied that there is an unacceptable risk that the defendant may:
- fail to turn up to court on their next court date
- interfere with witnesses or evidence, or
- offend while on bail.
The court must also consider any matter that would make it unjust to detain the defendant.
Sometimes bail will be granted on certain conditions. Often the conditions will require the defendant to:
- live at a particular address
- obey a curfew
- report to the police as required
- not associate with any co-accused
- not contact the complainant or any witnesses
- stay away from certain areas, or
- not consume alcohol or go onto licensed premises.
The police should talk to you about what bail conditions to include before the defendant’s first court appearance.
If the defendant does not follow the conditions, the police can ask the court to take away their bail and return them to custody.
More information about bail
- The Grant or Refusal of Bail - Courts of New Zealand website (external link)
- Community Law Aotearoa online manual (external link)
Read about your rights if the defendant is released on bail
Right to be informed about bail and express your views
If you are a victim of a serious crime, you have the right to tell the court your views if the person who has committed an offence against you is being released on bail. The prosecutor must give your views to the court.
If you ask for information about a defendant’s bail, the Police or the Ministry of Justice must give it to you when that bail impacts you or your family. They must tell you if the defendant is released on bail and of any conditions relating to your safety.