When you enter into a bail agreement you are making a promise that you will appear in court on a specified date and time. You are not permitted to leave the State while you are on bail unless you get permission from a magistrate. Bail agreements usually specify a monetary amount, which you only have to pay if you breach your bail. A cash bail is one where you are required to pay the sum up front when entering the bail agreement. You get the money back (provided you don’t breach your bail) when the case is finished. A bail agreement can also specify certain conditions of bail, for example you may have to reside at a particular address, or obey a curfew, or be under supervision of a probation officer. 

If you fail to attend court when you are required, or if you breach any other condition of your bail, a warrant for your arrest can be issued, and you may also have to pay the amount of your bail (or in the case of a cash bail, you may forfeit the amount you have already paid). 

A bail agreement can also require one or more guarantors. When someone acts as guarantor for you they are making a promise that you will appear in court at every required hearing and will obey all the conditions of your bail agreement. As with bail, a monetary amount is usually attached to the guarantee. If you breach your bail agreement, your guarantor may have to pay the amount of the guarantee (or in the case of a cash guarantee, the guarantor won’t get back the money they were required to pay up front). 

A bail agreement lasts until your matter is finalised or until a court orders it to end or change. You can apply to the court to vary the conditions of your bail if you have good reasons for doing so. In particular, if your bail has a condition about where you live, if you have to change address you should apply to change your bail before moving.