A person may be remanded in custody or on bail by the District Court. Remanding on bail requires that the person concerned enters a bond or recognizance to appear.
The Court may not remand a person on the occasion of his first appearance for a period exceeding eight days, except where permitted by statute. A person may be remanded for more than eight days with his consent. A person may be remanded up to 15 days, where he is unable to attend on account of illness or accident and may thereafter be remanded for a further eight days
A person may be remanded to a different District Court within the district.
Remand on Bail
The District Court may remand a person in prison or other lawful custody or release him on entering a recognizance with or without sureties. A recognizance may be taken before the District Court Judge, a District Court Clerk, Peace Commissioner, Prison Governor, or a person designated by the Prison Governor.
A judge may admit a person to bail if it is an offence for which bail ought to be allowed in accordance with the Bail Act. See the separate chapter on Bail. Following a constitutional referendum in 1997, the conditions on which the bail is available were made significantly more restrictive than was formerly the case.
Remand and Custody
The Court may remand a person for a period of 15 days other than on the first appearance unless the Court is of the opinion that it is unreasonable to remand him in custody for that period. The Court may demand a person in custody, other than on the first appearance for a period up to 30 days if the person and prosecutor consents.
.Where a person has been remanded in custody and there is no sitting of the Court on the day to which he has been remanded, he shall be remanded to the sitting next held in the District Court district.
The Court, where it remands a person in custody for a period less than, not exceeding four days may commit him to the custody of a member of An Garda Síochána. Before so remanding a person, the Court is to be satisfied there are suitable conditions for custody of such person during the remand.
A person who has been remanded in custody may be brought before the Court earlier than the due date if this is warranted, expedient in the interest of fair procedure. See generally the separate chapter on Bail.
Application for Bail
In the case of certain very serious crimes, an application for bail may only be made by the High Court. This includes murder, treason, serious terrorist and certain other offences
An applicant for a bail who is charged with a serious offence must furnish a written statement duly signed containing information as to name, occupation and previous occupation within three years, sources of income within three years, property and assets owned or controlled in the state, previous convictions, previous convictions committed on the bail, previous applications for bail and whether or not granted. The requirement may be dispensed with the consent of the prosecutor.
It is an offence to make a false statement as to a material fact in connection with the statement. Apart from these proceedings, the statement is not admissible in proceedings and against the accused.
A Court may, on an application for bail, refuse bail if a person is charged with a serious offence. In exercising the jurisdiction, Court may receive and consider evidence and submissions relating to the seriousness of the offence, likely sentence, the nature and strength of the evidence, any previous convictions while on bail, previous convictions including convictions, the subject of an appeal or other offences for which he is charged and awaiting trial. Account may be taken of whether the person is addicted to controlled drugs.
Proceedings relating to bail may be heard other than in public and in reports of such proceedings, no information relating to the criminal record of the person concerned may be broadcast or published. Publication or broadcast is an offence.
Breach of Bail
Where it appears that the accused is about to contravene the conditions of his recognizance, a warrant for his arrest may issue. Where a person has breached a condition of his recognizance with or without sureties, an application may be made by a member of An Garda Síochána for a warrant for this arrest.
It is an offence for a person to refuse to surrender to bail. A person may be subject on summary conviction to a fine of up to €5000 or imprisonment up to 12 months or both.
It is a defence to the offence to show that the person had reasonable cause for not so appearing. Where a person has failed to appear before a Court to answer bail and the Court has directed that a warrant be issued, a member of An Garda Síochána may arrest the person notwithstanding that he does not have the warrant in his possession.
Refusal of Bail
The refusal of bail should be based on grounds before the Court. In determining whether the refusal is reasonably necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offence, it is not necessary for the Court to be satisfied that the commission of the offence by that person is apprehended.
Where a member of An Garda Síochána, not below the rank of Chief Superintendent, states that he believes the refusal of the application is reasonably necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offence by that person, this is admissible as evidence of the same.
Where an application of bail has been refused and the trial of the offence concerned is not commenced within four months, the person may renew the application for bail to that Court on the ground of delay by the prosecution. Evidence of the delay may be considered on the application. In proceedings in relation to an application for bail, the previous criminal record of the accused shall not be referred to in a manner that might prejudice his right to a fair trial.
Enforcement of Recognisance
Where a person appears to bail, there is a procedure for repayment of monies lodged. Where a person fails to appear, proceedings to estreat or call in the recognizance or surety may be taken. The court may order that monies paid are estreated or forfeited. A receiver may be appointed to take possession and control of assets lodged by the accused or any surety. The surety may realise the assets for the purpose of recovery of money.
The court may on the application of a member of An Garda Síochána based on an information, made in writing and on oath that a person has breached the conditions of recognizance, may issue a warrant for the arrest of that person. A person may be arrested notwithstanding that any Garda does not have the warrant in his possession.
A schedule of serious offences is set out for the purpose of the bail legislation. They include the more serious offences against the person, sexual offences, explosives, firearms offences, robbery and burglary, serious criminal damage, serious public order offences, organised crime etc.