Failure to Answer Bail

In Victoria, the offence of Failing to Answer Bail is in section 30 of the Bail Act 1977, which is failing to surrender to Court whilst on bail.

Are you accused of Failing to Answer Bail? Speak with one of experienced lawyers who can assist you with arranging to have the arrest warrant issued and for you to be bailed to a new Court date. It may be that you had a good reason for missing Court and this can be discussed with the Police.
Failure to Answer Bail

Our lawyers can also help you re-apply for bail. Our lawyers can:

  • Discuss organising a surety,
  • Gather material to show the Court you are working while on bail,
  • Organise witnesses to attend Court.
Police interview

Before attending the Police station to be interviewed for Failing to Answer Bail, you should receive legal advice. It is always best to arrange a time with Police for you to attend the station to execute the warrant. This will demonstrate to the Police that you are not intentionally avoiding Court.

You may want to know if the Police will remand you, which is why it is important to speak with one of our lawyers first.

Our lawyers can also be ready on-call to conduct a bail application on your behalf if the Police refuse to re-bail you to a new Court date.

Pleading guilty

If you are pleading guilty to a charge of Failing to Answer Bail, we can assist you with what to tell the Court on your behalf. A lot of the time, people have a genuine reason for Failing to Answer Bail. It is important that the Court hears why it is that you missed Court.


Sentencing in the higher courts of VictoriaSentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Fail to Answer Bail in the Higher Courts of Victoria Between 2016 and 2021Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of VictoriaSentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Fail to Answer Bail in the Magistrates' Court of Victoria Between 2018 and 2021

Which court will the case be heard in?

This is a summary charge which means that it will generally be heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

Examples of Failure to Answer Bail
  • A man has been released from jail and has a court date to answer bail but does not attend Court on this date.
What is the legal definition of Failure to Answer Bail?

Failure of a person released on bail, without reasonable excuse, to attend in accordance with his or her undertaking of bail and to surrender himself or herself into custody.


The section that covers this offence is section 30 of the Bail Act 1977.1

Elements of the offence

For an accused to be proven guilty of this charge, the following elements must be established in court:

  • The accused was released on bail.
  • The accused failed to attend in accordance with his undertaking of bail and to surrender himself into custody.
  • The accused had no reasonable cause, the proof whereof lies upon him, for said failure to attend.

Failure to do so would mean that the accused is not guilty of the offence.

“Did you fail to come to Court?”
  • You had a medical emergency.
  • You have a reasonable excuse.

It is not a defence that you forgot, unless there is a medical emergency.

There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • If you did not attend Court, why did you not attend?
Maximum penalty for section 30 of the Bail Act 1977

The maximum penalty for (s30 of the Bail Act 1977) is level 7 imprisonment (2 years).

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

You will most likely get a fine or a Community Corrections Order if you are found guilty. However if you have previously been convicted of this offence you may receive a prison sentence.

Other Important Resources
Case Studies