Bail Act


Published: 1994-09-22

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Bail Act
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CHAPTER 103

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LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES

1 - 8 LRO 1/2008

9 - 14 LRO 1/2006

15 - 17 LRO 1/2008




ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Discretionary grant of bail.
4. No right to bail.
5. Record of decision as to bail.
6. Reasons must be given for grant or refusal of bail.
7. Accused to be informed of his right to apply to Supreme Court for bail.
8. Power of Supreme Court to grant, refuse or vary conditions of bail.
8A. Appeal to Court of Appeal.
9. General provisions relating to bail.
10. Offence of absconding by person released on bail.
11. Penalty for absconding.
12. Liability to arrest for absconding or breaking conditions of bail.
13. Bail with sureties.
14. Forfeiture of security or recognisance.
15. Savings.

FIRST SCHEDULE.
SECOND SCHEDULE — Statutory Declaration to be made by a Surety or Sureties.


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CHAPTER 103

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An Act to consolidate the law relating to the

release from custody of accused persons in criminal
proceedings and for other matters connected thereto.

[Assent 20th September, 1994]
[Commencement 22nd September, 1994]

1. This Act may be cited as the Bail Act.
2. In this Act —
“bail in criminal proceedings” means —

(a) bail grantable in or in connection with
proceedings for an offence to a person who
is accused or convicted of the offence; or

(b) bail grantable in connection with an offence
to a person who is under arrest for the
offence or for whose arrest for the offence a
warrant (endorsed for bail) is being issued;

“Court” includes a Judge of the Supreme Court, a
Judge of the Court of Appeal, a Magistrate or a
Coroner;

“record” means the record of the decision of the
Court, or Police Officer made in pursuance of
subsection (1) of section 5;

“surrender to custody” means, in relation to a person
released on bail, surrendering himself into the
custody of the court or of the police (according
to the requirements of the grant of bail) at the
time and place for the time being appointed for
him to do so;

“young person” means a person who has attained the
age of fourteen and is under the age of eighteen.

3. (1) Subject to section 4 and except as provided
in Part A of the First Schedule, bail may be granted,
notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, to a
person —

(a) who is accused of an offence when —
(i) he appears or is brought before a

Magistrate’s Court or the Supreme Court

20 of 1994
27 of 1996
15 of 2000
21 of 2006
23 of 2007

Short title.

Interpretation.

Discretionary
grant of bail.
27 of 1996, s.2.

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in the course of or in connection with
proceedings for that offence; or

(ii) he applies to a Court for bail in connection
with the proceedings for that offence;

(b) who, having been committed to stand trial or
having had a bill of indictment preferred against
him, has not been arraigned before the Supreme
Court in accordance with section 148 of the
Criminal Procedure Code within six months
after the date upon which that person was
committed to stand trial or from which the bill
of indictment was preferred;

(c) who, having been convicted of an offence,
appears or is brought before a Court to be dealt
with under section 124(6) of the Penal Code; or

(d) who has been convicted of an offence and whose
case is adjourned by the Court for the purpose of
enabling inquiries or a report to be made to
assist the Court in dealing with him for the
offence only if the Court does not intend to
impose a custodial sentence.

(2) Where any person who has been convicted and
sentenced to a term of imprisonment gives notice in
accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure
Code of his intention to appeal against the conviction or
sentence, the magistrate’s court by which he was so
convicted or the court to which the appeal lies, may, upon
application being made by or on behalf of such person, if
the court thinks fit, having regard to —

(a) the character of the person convicted;
(b) the nature and seriousness of the offence for

which such person was convicted;
(c) the improbability of such person absconding or

committing the same or a like offence if he is
released from custody; and

(d) such other exceptional circumstances which
appear to the court to be relevant,

order that such person be released from custody with or
without a surety or sureties until such time as the appeal is
determined, abandoned or withdrawn:

Provided that nothing in this subsection contained
shall be deemed —

Ch. 91.

Ch. 84.

Ch. 91

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(a) to require the release of any person liable to be
detained in custody for some matter other than
that in respect of which the appeal is being
made;

(b) to enable a court to grant bail to the convicted
person if that person would not be granted bail
under the other provisions of this Act prior to his
conviction.

4. (1) Notwithstanding any other enactment, where
any person is charged with an offence mentioned in Part B
of the First Schedule, the Court shall order that that person
shall be detained in custody for the purpose of being dealt
with according to law, unless the Court is of the opinion
that his detention is not justified, in which case, the Court
may make an order for the release, on bail, of that person
and shall include in the record a statement giving the
reasons for the order of release on bail:

Provided that, where a person has been charged with
an offence mentioned in Part B of the First Schedule after
having been previously convicted of an offence mentioned
in that Part, and his imprisonment on that conviction
ceased within the last five years, then the Court shall order
that that person shall be detained in custody.

(2) Notwithstanding any other enactment —
(a) a person charged with an offence mentioned in

Part C of the First Schedule; or
(b) a person who has been convicted and sentenced

to a term of imprisonment in respect of those
offences mentioned in Part D of the First
Schedule who gives notice of his intention to
appeal in accordance with the Criminal
Procedure Code Act, against such conviction,

shall not be granted bail:
Provided that where there are exceptional

circumstances, a court may grant bail to a person referred
to in paragraph (b).

(3) Where the appeal in respect of a person
described under paragraph 2(b) is not heard within a period
of six months from the date of the conviction that person
shall be entitled to apply to the Court of Appeal for bail
pending the outcome of such appeal.

(4) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this
section or any other enactment, the provisions of

27 of 1996, s. 2.

No right to bail.
27 of 1996, s. 3.
Part B of First
Schedule.

15 of 2000.

Part C of First
Schedule.


Part D of First
Schedule.



15 of 2000.

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subsection (1) relating to bail, shall apply to any person
charged with —

(a) conspiracy to export dangerous drugs, contrary
to sections 14(7) and 29(1) of the Dangerous
Drugs Act;

(b) conspiracy to import dangerous drugs, contrary
to sections 15(6) and 29(1) of the Dangerous
Drugs Act; or

(c) conspiracy to possess dangerous drugs with
intent to supply, contrary to section 22(1) and
(2)(a) and section 29(1) of the Dangerous Drugs
Act,

unless the Attorney-General in writing directs that a
prosecution be commenced in respect of any offence
mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c), in which case the
provisions of subsection (2) relating to bail shall apply to
the person to whom the prosecution relates.

(5) The fact that an accused person has not been
previously convicted of any offence, shall not ipso facto
constitute a cause for releasing that accused person on bail.

5. (1) Subject to subsection (2), where —
(a) a Court or a police officer grants bail in criminal

proceedings;
(b) a Court refuses bail in criminal proceedings in

relation to a person referred to in paragraph (a)
of subsection (1) of section 3;

(c) a Court or a police officer appoints a time or
place for a person to whom bail is granted in
criminal proceedings to surrender to custody; or

(d) a Court varies any conditions of bail or imposes
conditions in respect of bail in criminal
proceedings,

that Court or police officer shall make a record of the
decision and, where requested to do so by the person in
relation to whom the decision was taken, shall cause that
person to be given a copy of the record of the decision as
soon as practicable after the record is made.

(2) Where bail in criminal proceedings is granted by
endorsing a warrant of arrest for bail, the police officer
who releases on bail the person arrested shall make the
record required by subsection (1) instead of the Court that
issued the warrant.

Ch. 228.

Ch. 228.

Ch. 228.

Record of
decision as to
bail.

27 of 1996, s. 4.

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6. Where a Magistrate’s Court —
(a) grants bail in criminal proceedings over an

objection to bail by or on behalf of the police;
(b) refuses bail in criminal proceedings;
(c) imposes conditions in granting bail in criminal

proceedings; or
(d) varies any conditions of bail or imposes

conditions in respect of bail in criminal
proceedings,

in relation to an accused person referred to in paragraph (a)
of subsection (1) of section 3, or a convicted person
referred to in subsection (2) of section 3, as the case may
be, then the Magistrate shall, with a view to enabling that
accused person or convicted person or the police to
consider making an application in the matter to the
Supreme Court, give reasons for granting or refusing bail
or for imposing or varying the conditions, as the case may
be.

7. Where a Magistrate’s Court inquiring into or
trying an offence alleged to have been committed by a
person refuses bail, the court shall inform that person that
he may apply to the Supreme Court to be granted bail, or to
have any conditions to which the bail is subject varied.

8. (1) Where a Magistrate’s Court grants or refuses
bail in criminal proceedings or imposes conditions in
granting bail in criminal proceedings, the Supreme Court
may, on application by an accused person or the police,
grant or refuse bail or vary the conditions.

(2) Where a Magistrate grants bail to an accused
person or a convicted person he shall where notice is given
by or on behalf of the police of the intention to apply to the
Supreme Court for a review of the decision remand the
accused person or convicted person, as the case may be,
into custody and order him to be brought before a judge at
such time and place as the Registrar may direct for the
hearing of the review by the Supreme Court which shall
not be later than the next two sitting days of that Court.

(3) Where the Supreme Court grants an accused
person bail under subsection (1), the Court may direct that
person to appear at a time and place which the Magistrate’s
Court could have directed and the recognisance of any
surety shall be conditioned accordingly.

Reasons must be
given for grant or
refusal of bail. 27
of 1996, s. 5. 27 of 1996, s. 5.

Accused to be
informed of his
right to apply to
Supreme Court
for bail.

Power of
Supreme Court
to grant, refuse or
vary conditions
of bail.

27 of 1996, s. 6.

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(4) Where the Supreme Court refuses an accused
person bail under subsection (1) and the accused person is
not then in custody, the Court shall issue a warrant for the
arrest of the accused person, who shall be brought before a
Magistrate’s Court and shall be remanded in custody.

(5) The powers of the Supreme Court under this
section are without prejudice to the jurisdiction vested in
the Supreme Court under any other law.

8A. (1) Where the Supreme Court grants or refuses a
person bail, or refuses to revoke bail, the prosecution or the
person, as the case may be, shall have a right of appeal to
the Court of Appeal.

(2) An appeal shall be filed within two days of the
making of the decision, the subject matter of the appeal,
and pending the hearing of an appeal against an order
admitting an accused person to bail that order shall be
suspended.

9. (1) When bail is granted to a person to whom
section 3 applies, no condition may be attached unless it is
considered necessary for the purpose of preventing
absconding, the commission of an offence on bail or
interference with witnesses, or for the purpose of obtaining
medical or other reports.

(2) A person to whom bail is granted in criminal
proceedings is under a duty to surrender to custody, and
that duty is enforceable in accordance with section 10 of
this Act.

(3) A Court may require any person applying for
bail to provide, before release on bail, one or more sureties
to secure that person’s surrender to custody.

(4) Where it appears that the applicant for bail is
unlikely to remain in The Bahamas until the time appointed
for him to surrender to custody, he may be required, before
release on bail, to give security for his surrender to custody
and the security may be given by him or on his behalf.

(5) Where a parent or guardian of a child or young
person consents to be surety for the child or young person for
the purposes of this section, the parent or guardian may be
required to ensure that the child or young person complies
with any condition imposed on him except that —

(a) no condition shall be imposed on the parent or
the guardian of a young person where it appears
that the young person will attain the age of

Appeal to Court
of Appeal.
21 of 2006, s. 2.
23 of 2007.

23 of 2007, s. 2.

General
provisions
relating to bail.

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eighteen before the time to be appointed for him
to surrender to custody; and

(b) the parent or guardian shall not be required to
ensure compliance with any condition to which
his consent does not extend and shall not in
respect of those conditions to which his consent
does extend, be bound in a sum greater than five
hundred dollars.

(6) Where a Court has granted bail in criminal
proceedings, the Court may on application —

(a) by or on behalf of the person to whom it was
granted; or

(b) by the prosecutor or a police officer,
vary the conditions of bail or, in respect of bail which it has
granted unconditionally, impose conditions.

10. (1) Any person who having been released on
bail in criminal proceedings fails without reasonable cause
to surrender to custody, is guilty of an offence.

(2) Any person who —
(a) has been released on bail in criminal proceedings;

and
(b) having no reasonable cause therefor, has failed

to surrender to custody,
fails to surrender to custody at the appointed place as soon
after the appointed time as is reasonably practicable, he is
guilty of an offence.

(3) It shall be for the accused to prove that he has
reasonable cause for his failure to surrender to custody.

(4) A failure to give to a person who is granted bail
in criminal proceedings a copy of the record of the decision
shall not constitute a reasonable cause for that person’s
failure to surrender to custody.

(5) In any proceedings for an offence under
subsection (1) or (2), a document purporting to be a copy
of the part of the record which relates to the time and place
appointed for the person specified in the record to
surrender to custody and duly certified to be a true copy of
that part of the record shall be evidence of the time and
place appointed for that person to surrender to custody.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (5) —

Offence of
absconding by
person released
on bail.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

(a) the copy of the record is duly certified if it is
certified by the appropriate officer of the Court
or, as the case may be, by the police officer who
took the decision or a police officer designated
for the purpose by the officer in charge of the
police station from which the person to whom
the record relates was released; and

(b) “appropriate officer of the Court” is —
(i) in the case of a Magistrate’s Court, the

Magistrate’s clerk or such other officer as
may be authorised by a Magistrate to act
for the purpose;

(ii) in the case of the Supreme Court and the
Court of Appeal, the Registrar or such
other officer as may be authorised by him
to act for the purpose.

11. (1) An offence under subsection (1) or (2) of
section 10 is punishable on summary conviction.

(2) A person who is convicted of any offence under
subsection (1) or (2) of section 10 is liable to imprisonment
for a term of two years.

12. (1) Where a person who has been released on
bail in criminal proceedings and is under a duty to
surrender into the custody of a Court fails to surrender to
custody at the time appointed for him to do so, the Court
may issue a warrant for his arrest.

(2) Where a person who has been released on bail in
criminal proceedings absents himself from the Court at any
time after he has surrendered into the custody of the Court
and before the Court is ready to begin or to resume the
hearing of the proceedings, the Court may issue a warrant
for his arrest, but no warrant shall be issued under this
subsection where that person is absent in accordance with
leave given to him by or on behalf of the Court.

(3) A person who has been released on bail in
criminal proceedings and is under a duty to surrender into
the custody of a Court may be arrested without warrant by
a police officer where —

(a) the police officer has reasonable grounds for
believing that that person is not likely to
surrender to custody;

Penalty for
absconding.

Liability to arrest
for absconding or
breaking
conditions of
bail.

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(b) the police officer has reasonable grounds for
believing that that person has committed another
offence while on bail;

(c) the police officer has reasonable grounds for
believing that that person is likely to break any
of the conditions of his bail or has reasonable
grounds for suspecting that that person has
broken any of those conditions; or

(d) in a case where that person was released on bail
with one or more surety or sureties, a surety
notifies a police officer in writing that that
person is unlikely to surrender to custody and
that for that reason the surety wishes to be
relieved of his obligations as a surety.

(4) A person arrested in pursuance of subsection (3)
shall be brought as soon as practicable, and in any event
within forty-eight hours after his arrest —

(a) before a Magistrate; or
(b) where a person is arrested within forty-eight

hours of the time appointed for him to surrender
to custody, before the Court at which he is to
surrender to custody.

(5) Subject to paragraphs (a) and (f) of Part A of the
First Schedule where a Magistrate before whom a person is
brought under subsection (4) is of the opinion that that
person —

(a) is not likely to surrender to custody;
(b) has committed another offence; or
(c) has broken or is likely to break any condition of

his bail,
the Magistrate may, subject to subsection (6), remand him
in custody or commit him to custody, as the case may
require or, alternatively, grant him bail subject to the same
or different conditions, save that where the Magistrate is
not of any such opinion, the Magistrate shall grant him bail
subject to the same conditions, if any, as were originally
imposed.

(6) Where the person brought before the Magistrate
under subsection (4) is a child or young person and the
Magistrate does not grant him bail, subsection (5) shall
have effect subject to the provisions of section 36(1) of the
Children and Young Persons (Administration of Justice)
Act.

Ch. 97.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

13. (1) This section applies where a person is
granted bail in criminal proceedings on condition that the
person provides one or more surety or sureties for the
purpose of securing that he surrenders to custody.

(2) In considering the suitability for that purpose of
a proposed surety, the Court shall —

(a) have regard, amongst other things, to the
surety’s —

(i) profession, occupation, trade or business;
(ii) character and any previous convictions of

his; and
(iii) proximity, whether in point of kinship,

place or residence or otherwise, to the
person for whom he is to be a surety; and

(b) require the surety to make a statutory declaration
in the form set out in the Second Schedule
respecting his financial and other assets.

(3) Where a Court grants a person bail in criminal
proceedings under subsection (1), but is unable to release
such person because no surety or no suitable surety is
available, the Court shall fix the amount in which the
surety is to be bound and subsections (4) and (5) shall
apply for the purpose of enabling the recognisance of the
surety to be entered into subsequently.

(4) A recognisance of the surety under subsection
(3) may be entered into before such of the following
persons or descriptions of persons as the Court may by
order specify or, if it makes no such order, before any of
the following persons, that is to say —

(a) where the decision is taken by a Magistrate’s
Court, before any Magistrate or Justice of the
Peace;

(b) where the decision is taken by the Supreme
Court or the Court of Appeal, before any of the
persons specified in paragraph (a) or, before the
Registrar or an officer designated by him for that
purpose.

(5) Where a surety seeks to enter into his recognisance
before any person in accordance with subsection (4), but that
person declines to take his recognisance because he is not
satisfied of the surety’s suitability, the surety may apply to —

Bail with sureties.

Second Schedule.

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(a) the Court which fixed the amount to the
recognisance in which the surety was to be
bound; or

(b) a Magistrate’s Court for the district in which he
resides,

for that Court to take this recognisance and that Court
shall, if satisfied of the surety’s suitability, take his
recognisance.

(6) Where, in pursuance of subsection (4), a
recognisance is entered into otherwise than before the
Court that fixed the amount of the recognisance, the same
consequences shall follow as if it has been entered into
before the Court.

14. (1) Where a person has given security in
pursuance of section 9(4), and the Court is satisfied that the
person failed to surrender to custody, then, unless it
appears that he had reasonable cause for his failure, the
Court may order the forfeiture of the security.

(2) Where a Court orders the forfeiture of a security
under subsection (1), the Court may declare that the
forfeiture extends to such amount less than the full value of
the security as it thinks fit to order.

15. (1) The provisions of this Act shall be in
addition to any other provision relating to bail in criminal
proceedings under the Criminal Procedure Code and any
other written law.

(2) Nothing contained in section 3 shall derogate
from any order for bail made prior to the coming into
operation of this Act.

FIRST SCHEDULE (Section 3)
PART A

The Court shall deny bail to a defendant in any of the
following circumstances —
(a) where the Court is satisfied that there are substantial

grounds for believing that the defendant, if released on bail,
whether subject to conditions or not would —

Forfeiture of
security or
recognisance.

Savings.

Ch. 91.

27 of 1996, s. 7.

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(i) fail to surrender to custody or appear at his trial;
(ii) commit an offence while on bail; or
(iii) interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the

course of justice, whether in relation to himself or
any other person;

(b) where the Court is satisfied that the defendant should be
kept in custody for his own protection or, where he is a
child or young person, for his own welfare;

(c) where he is in custody in pursuance of the sentence of a
Court or any authority acting under the Defence Act;

(d) where the Court is satisfied that it has not been practicable
to obtain sufficient information for the purpose of taking
the decisions required by this part for want of time since
the institution of the proceedings against him;

(e) where, having been released on bail in or in connection
with the proceedings for the offence, he is arrested in
pursuance of section 12;

(f) while he is released on bail and is charged subsequently
either with an offence similar to that in respect of which he
was so released or with an offence which is punishable by a
term of imprisonment exceeding one year.

PART B (Section 4(1))
Causing grievous bodily harm — section 270, Ch. 84;
Causing maim or any dangerous harm — section 272, Ch. 84;
Attempted Murder — section 292, Ch. 84;
Manslaughter — section 293, Ch. 84;
Robbery — section 339(1), Ch. 84, or Attempted Robbery;
Conspiracy to commit Robbery — sections 339(1) and 89(1),
Ch. 84;
Housebreaking — section 362, Ch. 84;
Burglary — section 363, Ch. 84;
Conspiracy to commit Burglary — sections 363 and 89(1), Ch. 84;
Unlawful Entry by Night — section 364, Ch. 84;
Possession of Firearm designed to discharge explosive matter —
section 30(1)(a), Ch. 213;
Possession of Automatic Weapons — section 30(1)(b), Ch. 213;

Ch. 211.

27 of 1996, s. 7.

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Possession of Firearm or Ammunition with intent to endanger
life or cause serious injury to property — section 33, Ch. 213;
Possession of Firearm with intent to commit an indictable
offence — section 34(1), Ch. 213;
Unlawful Shortening of guns — section 36, Ch. 213;
Possession of Dangerous Drugs with intent to supply — section
22, Ch. 228;
Any offence under any of the following sections of the Sexual
Offences and Domestic Violence Act, Ch. 99:
6 (rape), 10 (sexual intercourse with a person under fourteen
years), 12 (sexual intercourse with a person suffering from a
mental disorder), 13 (incest) and 14 (sexual intercourse with a
dependant).

PART C (Section 4(3))
Kidnapping — section 282, Ch. 84;
Conspiracy to commit Kidnapping — sections 282 and 89(1),
Ch. 84;
Murder — section 291, Ch. 84;
Conspiracy to commit Murder — sections 291 and 89(1), Ch. 84;
Abetment to Murder — sections 86 and 307, Ch. 84;
Armed Robbery — section 339(2), Ch. 84;
Conspiracy to commit Armed Robbery — sections 339(2) and
89(1), Ch. 84;
Abetment to Armed Robbery — sections 86 and 339, Ch. 84;
Treason — section 389, Ch. 84;
Conspiracy to commit Treason — sections 389 and 89(1), Ch. 84.

PART D (Section 4(2))
Possession of Dangerous Drugs with intent to supply — section
22, Ch. 228;
Possession of prohibited weapons and ammunition — section
30, Ch. 213;
Possession of Firearm or Ammunition with intent to endanger
life or cause serious injury to property — section 33, Ch. 213;
Possession of Firearm with intent to commit an indictable
offence — section 34(1), Ch. 213;
Unlawful shortening of guns — section 36, Ch. 213;

27 of 1996, s. 7.
15 of 2000.

15 of 2000.

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Any offence mentioned in the Third Schedule to the Criminal
Procedure Code, Ch. 91.



SECOND SCHEDULE (Section 13(2)(b))
STATUTORY DECLARATION TO BE MADE BY A

SURETY OR SURETIES

Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Island of .........................................
I the undersigned CD of .........................../GH of .......................
having agreed to offer myself/*ourselves as surety for AB
of...... /defendant in the case Crown vs ............. acknowledge to
owe to the Crown the sum of .................... to be levied on
my/*our several movable and immovable property if the said
AB fails in the condition of the recognisance to be entered
before ................. Magistrate/*Justice.


And for that purpose I/*we, the undersigned hereby solemnly
declare —
(a) that my/*our immovable and movable property including

other financial assets consist of the following:
(i) Particulars of immovable property:

Description of immovable property, date of the Deed
and name and address of the parties to the Deed;

(ii) Estimated value of immovable property;
(iii) Bank Balances: Name of the Bank, Account Number

and Amount;
(iv) Any other movable property and its value;
(b) *that the immovable property specified in subparagraph

(a)(i) above is owned by me/*us free from any
encumbrances, or

*that the immovable property specified in subparagraph
(a)(i) above is under mortgage, hypothecated, etc., in
consideration of ........................ ;

(c) that I/*we have/*have not stood surety/sureties on the
consideration of the aforesaid immovable/movable property
in the case/cases noted below;

(d) that I/*we have/*have not been convicted of any criminal
offence. Further a criminal charge is pending against




* Delete whatever is inapplicable.

15 of 2000.

BAIL [CH.103 – 17



––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

me/*us. /*No criminal charge is pending against me/*us.

Signed ................................. CD
.............................................. GH

Taken before me this ..............day of 20......
Signed .........................................

Magistrate or Justice