Being charged with a crime

2. Bail

You can be released on bail at the police station after you’ve been charged. This means you will be able to go home until your court hearing.

If you are given bail, you might have to agree to conditions like:

  • living at a particular address
  • not contacting certain people
  • giving your passport to the police so you can’t leave the UK
  • reporting to a police station at agreed times, eg once a week

If you don’t stick to these conditions you can be arrested again and be taken to prison to wait for your court hearing.

When you attend your hearing at a magistrates’ court or a ‘virtual court’ - video conferencing in court - you might be given bail again until your trial begins.

Reasons you may not be given bail

You’re unlikely to be given bail if:

  • you are charged with a serious offence, eg armed robbery
  • you’ve been convicted of a serious crime in the past
  • you’ve been given bail in the past and not stuck to the terms
  • the police think you may not turn up for your hearing
  • the police think you might commit a crime while you’re on bail