1. Basic Legal Knowledge

  2. Procedures during criminal hearings

  3. Juvenile Court

  4. Arresting procedure, my rights and obligations

  5. Free or subsidized legal assistance

  6. Protection for victims

  7. Punishment and sentencing options

  8. Criminal records and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance

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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) .

Young persons

According to section 4 of the Juvenile Offenders Ordinance (Cap 226), a person under the age of 16 who is arrested shall be brought forthwith before a juvenile court. If this cannot be done, an inspector of police, or other police officer of equal or superior rank, or the officer in charge of the police station to which such person is brought, shall inquire into the case and grant bail to the arrested person unless:

  1. the charge is one of homicide or other grave crime; or
  2. it is necessary in the interest of such person to remove him from association with any undesirable person; or
  3. the officer has reason to believe that the release of such person would defeat the ends of justice.

When bail is granted, the juvenile, the parents or guardian, or other responsible person shall enter into recognizance, with or without securities, in an amount which in the opinion of the officer will secure the attendance of the juvenile to court.

If the juvenile is not granted police bail, section 5 of the Juvenile Offenders Ordinance (Cap 226) provides that the juvenile will be detained in a place of detention until he or she can be brought before a juvenile court. This is unless the officer certifies that:

  1. it is impracticable to do so; or
  2. he is of so unruly or depraved a character that he cannot be safely so detained; or
  3. by reason of his state of health or of his mental or bodily condition it is inadvisable so to detain him or her.

A “place of detention” includes all police stations in Hong Kong and also the Tuen Mun Children and Juvenile Home.

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