When a child is charged with an offence they may receive a ‘summons’. A summons tells the child when they have to go to court.
Sometimes a child might be arrested and brought to a police station or court instead of receiving a summons.
‘Bail’ means being released from custody with a promise to attend court on a certain day and time.
Who decides about bail
When a child is arrested, a police officer or bail justice may decide whether or not the child should be released from custody and go on bail. In some cases bail may only be granted to a child by a court.
If a police officer or bail justice does not grant bail to a child, the child must then be brought before a court.
A child can be released on bail by the police, a bail justice or the court. To get bail, a child may have to agree to certain conditions. Bail conditions might include things like:
- reporting to police or Youth Justice while on bail.
- living at a certain address.
- staying at home for certain times each day.
- not going to certain places while on bail
If the child does not obey their bail conditions or they do not attend the court on the set day/time, the police can charge them with an offence. The police may also arrest the child and bring the child before the court again. If the court says they can go on bail again there will probably be stronger bail conditions that they must obey. Sometimes the court might not let the child go on bail again. If that happens the child will have to stay in custody until their charges are dealt with by the court.