Bail is a system which suspends the execution of detention and release the accused from detention subject to the payment of a certain amount of bail. This bail can be requested only after the suspected detained was prosecuted and the detention turned into be that of the accused. Bail does not apply to the stage of the detention after arrest before prosecution.
Bail is not necessarily granted in cases where there are certain grounds. In this case the court makes a decision on bail at his discretion.
Where the suspect faces prosecution while remains detained after arrest, he/she will continue to be detained at the detention facilities such as a police cell or detention center for 2 months after prosecution. If a trial is protracted, subsequently the detention will be renewed each month and another long-term detention may continue.
One is not able to have a contact with outside freely during detention, which is extremely tough and enables him/her to go to place of work or school. It is important to persuade the court to grant bail as soon as possible in order to set the detainee free and return to his/her normal life.
Criminal lawyers who has rich experience in winning bail work at AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm. If you consider bail, please come to our office to consult with our lawyers.
~Types of Bail and the Conditions~
1. Mandatory Bail
Where the request for bail was made and none of the following 6 grounds applies to the accused, the court has to grant bail.
- The accused has allegedly committed a crime which is punishable by the death penalty, life imprisonment with or without work or a sentence of imprisonment with or without work whose minimum term of imprisonment is one year or more;
- The accused was previously found guilty of a crime punishable by the death penalty, life imprisonment with or without work or a sentence of imprisonment with or without work whose maximum term of imprisonment was in excess of ten years;
- The accused allegedly habitually committed a crime punishable by imprisonment with or without work whose maximum term of imprisonment was in excess of three years;
- There is probable cause to suspect that the accused may conceal or destroy evidence;
- There is probable cause to suspect that the accused may harm or threaten the body or property of the victim or any other person who is deemed to have essential knowledge for the trial of the case or the relatives of such persons; and,
- The name or residence of the accused is unknown.
2. Discretionary / Ex-Officio Bail
Judicially the court may grant bail on its own authority when it finds it appropriate even though it deems that the grounds for exception of mandatory bail exists. Thus, even when the request for bail was made and the court deems that the grounds for exception of mandatory release exists, the court may grant bail ex officio where it deems that there are the circumstances appropriate to release on bail taking the nature and the circumstances of the crime, backgrounds and criminal records of the accused, the health condition and family relations of the accused into account.
3. Bail to Revoke Unduly Prolonged Confinement and Detention
This is to grant bail upon a request by the concerned parties, or in the judgement of the court, in a case of the unduly prolonged confinement.
Important Points for the Court to Grant Bail
As it is the court to determine whether the grounds for exception of mandatory bail exists, bail is not necessarily granted easily just with a request for bail.
For example, a risk of destroying or concealing evidence is a major ground in the grounds for exception of mandatory bail. The risk is to be determined taking comprehensively various factors such as the nature of the crime, presence or absence of and kinds of evidence at present, living condition and attribute of the accused into account. As a result, if the risk of destroying or concealing evidence is obvious, the accused is not subject to the mandatory bail and will be difficult for the court to grant bail ex-officio. Moreover, where the risk of destroying or concealing evidence is low although the risk itself cannot be completely denied, there is a possibility that the court may grant bail at its discretion as the mandatory bail is not granted.
In order to grant bail as seen above it is necessary to assert the probable circumstances.
- No risk of destroying or concealing evidence;
- No risk of fleeing;
- No risk of having a contact with the victim and concerned parties, and their family; and,
- Exists a guarantee who supervises the accused.
These are important points. Thereby, it is necessary to assert these points persuasively so as to gain a decision to grant bail.
Amount of Bail Bond
At the general market rate, the bail bond is a minimum of 1.5 million yen to 2 million yen. However, there is no upper limit for the amount of the bail bond as the amount is to be set in consideration of the nature and circumstances of the crime, the property of the accused. As the intent to pay the bail bond is to prevent the accused from flee by holding his/her property as a hostage, the more likely to flee the accused is or the bigger his/her economic power is, the higher the amount of the bail bond is.
Besides, the bail bond is to be returned to the accused following the end of a trial unless a decision to grant bail is revoked and the bail bond is confiscated, as the bail bond is to prevent the accused to flee and secure for his/her appearance in court.
Flow of Bail
Explanation of each stage
- Request for Bail: The accused, a counsel, or a spouse makes a request for bail to the court.
- Prosecutor’s Opinion: The court hear an opinion from a public prosecutor when it determines whether grant or dismiss bail.
- Interview by a Judge: A counsel who made a request for bail can an interview with a judge. This is not a legal formality but a customary practice. At this time, a counsel asserts the necessity for release on bail to a judge.
- The period until a judge grants bail: In general, it takes 2~3 days. It sometimes takes 4~5 days due to the weekends.
Note of Caution After Bail
Possibility to Annul Bail
Even where the accused was let out on bail, there is a possibility that the court would annul bail if the accused did not appear in court on a court day or destroyed/concealed evidence. Once bail was annulled, the detention comes into effect, which makes the accused detained again and the bail money is confiscated. Moreover, where the court adds some proper conditions with bail, equally bail is annulled if the accused did not obey such conditions. When the court grants bail, it is important for the accused to appear in court and obey the conditions of bail.
Towards a Trial
Although the accused can return to his/her normal life when the court grants bail, he/she should not feel safe. When a sentence of imprisonment without suspension of execution is made, one will be put in prison instead of a police cell. To avoid such a result or to reduce a sentence as much as possible, the accused should consult with a counsel for a trial and prepare for it well. There is not a little possibility that the attitude toward life and act of the accused under bail may affect a result of a trial.
It is better to consult with a lawyer on the defense activities after release on bail.
Criminal lawyers who has rich experience in winning release on bail work at AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm. If you consider release on bail, please consult with our lawyers.