Can I get bail in an extradition case?
Bail in an extradition case is decided in a similar way to bail in criminal cases in this country. The law is contained in the Bail Act and the Criminal Procedure Rules. However, the rules are very different to many other countries. But the short answer is yes, you can get bail in an extradition case. Whether you do or not will depend on a lot of things.
How does the District Judge decide?
The District Judge is likely to be worried that if you are granted bail you might not turn up at Court. If you are wanted to stand trial for an offence, you have a much better chance of being granted bail than if you have been found guilty and have a sentence to serve. When you are wanted to serve a sentence, the longer it is the less chance you will have of being granted bail. If you have not been convicted, the more serious the offence is, the less likely you are to get bail.
Having convictions in this country, or lots of convictions in your home country, can also be a problem. The District Judge might think that you will commit more offences here. It is even more difficult if you are on bail in this country.
What else will the District Judge want to know?
Apart from the offence, the sorts of things that the Judge will think about when deciding whether to grant you bail will include;
- How long you have been in this country
- The circumstances in which you came to this country. For example, did you come to this country the day after you were arrested in your own country, or were you never actually arrested?
- Your situation in this country; are you working? Do you have family and in particular children who depend on you? Have you got an address you have lived at for a long time? Can you be given a curfew there, so the authorities know where you are at certain times of the day?
- Have you committed offences in this country? Or have you shown that you can abide by the law since you arrived here?
- Can you hand in your passport and your ID documents, so you cannot leave the country?
The most important thing is whether someone can pay a security for you. You or your family pay a sum of money to the court. The more money that can be paid the better. The court keeps the money while the case is going on. If you attend court when you are supposed to, or if you are to be extradited you turn up where you are supposed to be, you will get the money back, with interest. If you do not turn up, some of the money, or usually all if it, will be kept by the court.
Please note that the information contained in this article was correct at the time of writing. There may have been updates to the law since the article was written, which may affect the information and advice given therein.