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It's very common for a person who is charged with a crime to be released on bail. This means that the person is released from custody until the court case starts, but they have to follow rules (called 'conditions') made by the court.

If you're worried that the accused person may threaten or harm you or your family if they are released on bail, talk to the police investigator as soon as possible before bail is granted.

You should be told:

  • if the person accused of committing the crime against you is released on bail
  • any conditions that protect you or your family from the accused person.

You have to tell the police investigator for the case that you want to get this information.

Even if the person has confessed to the police that they committed the crime, they can still be released on bail. This is because the law in Victoria says that people are innocent until they are proven guilty at court.

The accused person must apply for bail

The accused person won't get bail automatically, they have to apply for it. They can apply for bail at any stage between being charged with committing the crime and the date when the case goes to court. 

If they don't get bail the first time, they can apply again. They must show the court that there are new facts and circumstances since the first time they applied.

Conditions of bail

Common conditions for being released on bail are:

  • agreeing to come to court when the case starts
  • not contacting you or other witnesses 
  • having counselling or medical treatment
  • living at a particular address
  • regularly reporting to a police station.

If the accused person does not follow the conditions, the police may apply to the court to take away their bail and will return the accused person to custody.

Bail applications can be refused

Bail may be refused and the accused person held in custody if the police or courts believe that there is an unacceptable risk that the accused person might:

  • not appear in court
  • commit further offences while on bail
  • endanger the safety or welfare of the public
  • interfere with witnesses for the court case.

Keeping safe

Your safety is important and there are things that can be done to improve it. Read more about keeping safe, or call the Victims of Crime Helpline on 1800 819 817 for information, advice and support.