What is bail

When an accused is arrested, bail allows them to be released from custody while awaiting trial.

The person who posts bail is called a bailor (also known as a surety). The bailor agrees to provide security for the bail amount ordered by the court.

The bailor has to ensure the accused attends court and complies with other bail conditions. This is a very serious responsibility. If the accused fails to attend court, the bailor may lose all the money or personal belongings deposited as security.

An accused may be offered police bail after their arrest and before they are charged in court.

Once the accused is formally charged in court and until the case concludes, the court may offer bail (court bail) at the court mention.

Note
The content on this site covers the process for court bail only. For police bail matters, contact the respective enforcement agency (Singapore Police Force, Central Narcotics Bureau etc.).

Once bail is granted, an accused can be released as soon as their bailor's application is approved by the court.

If the bail offered is not processed within the same day, the accused will remain remanded in custody unless someone agrees to post bail for them.

The court may attach conditions to bail. The usual conditions (1) include the following, unless the court specifies otherwise:

  • The accused must surrender their passport.
  • The accused must not commit any offence while released on bail or on personal bond.
  • The accused must not interfere with any witness or obstruct the course of justice.
  • The accused must surrender to custody, be available for investigations or attend court hearings whenever required.
  • The bailor must not be a co-accused in the same case.

Depending on the nature of the case, the court may also impose other conditions in addition to these usual ones. These conditions will apply so long as the accused is on bail, and until all proceedings relating to the charges against them have concluded.

Note
Youth offenders may have different conditions for bail.
How much bail the bailor hasto pay varies, subject to the court's discretion.

When the issue of bail is raised at the accused' court mention, the prosecution will propose an initial bail amount for the judge to consider. The accused may counter propose and explain their reasons for lowering the amount.

The judge will consider arguments from both parties in exercising their discretion. The judge may also consider the following factors before fixing the bail amount:

  • The nature, number and seriousness of the accused's charges.
  • The accused's criminal history.
  • The accused's general character.
  • The likelihood of the accused abiding to bail conditions.
  • The likelihood of the accused turning up for future court hearings.
  • The likelihood of the accused leaving the country (also known as a flight risk).
  • The severity of punishments prescribed for the offences.

Bail step-by-step

Understand what is involved in the court bail process.

Note

This is the process to post bail for adult offenders.

For a youth offender, refer to Bail for youth offenders.

Before posting bail

Check bailor's eligibility and requirements

A bailor needs to be Singapore citizen or permanent resident who is at least 21 years old and not currently bankrupt or facing criminal charges. The court makes the ultimate decision on who can be a bailor.

When posting bail

Post bail at the Bail Centre

To post bail, the bailor needs to go to the Bail Centre during its registration hours and bring the required documents.

After posting bail

Make changes, if needed

Find out what to do when circumstances change after posting bail for an accused.

When the case concludes

Receive a refund of bail

If bail was not forfeited, the bailor will get a refund of the security used for bail if you withdraw as a bailor or when the case concludes.

2021/02/23

Resources

Related questions

The courts have the final say in granting bail to an accused, how much their bail amount will be, and the bail conditions imposedon them. The accused can request to vary the bail conditions only when either of these conditions happen:
  • There has been a material change of circumstances in the case.
  • New facts about the case have since come to light.

The accused can make an application through any of the following ways. Approval of the application is subject to the court's discretion:

  • In person during court in the next court hearing.
  • (Only for State Courts cases) Online via the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS)
  • (Only for High Court cases) Filing of a criminal motion via eLitigation.

Footnotes

(1) Section 94(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code

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