Arresting procedure, my rights and obligations

Bail of arrested persons

A person who is detained in custody by the police shall be brought before a Magistrate as soon as practicable and generally within 48 hours from the time of the arrest. If the police want to detain a person for a longer period, they must first bring him/her before a Magistrate and make the relevant application. The detained person may object to such an application and ask for bail.

The police should grant bail to an accused person unless the alleged offence is serious or there is other good reason to detain the accused. Bail will usually be granted subject to a cash deposit or conditions of recognizance. The police will direct the accused to return to the police station or to appear in court on a specified date.

If bail is not granted by the police, then the police will have a duty to bring the accused to the Magistrates' Court as soon as practicable (normally in the following morning). The accused may apply to the Magistrate for bail at the first hearing. If bail is refused by the Magistrate, the accused may apply to a judge of the Court of First Instance of High Court for the grant of bail.

Bail should generally be granted by the court unless there is substantial ground for believing that the accused will fail to appear at the next scheduled hearing, or commit other offences whilst on bail, or interfere with witnesses or the investigation. For more details on this matter, please refer to Section 9D and Section 9G of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance (Chapter 221).