Pre-trial detention and bail
If someone is suspected of having committed one or more crimes that can be imprisoned for at least one year, this person can be placed in pre-trial detention at the initiative of the investigating judge. Within 24 hours after the formal arrest, the suspect will be brought before the investigating judge who will decide on the further arrest.
Within 5 days after the arrest, the suspect must then appear before the Council Chamber, who will decide on the possible extension of pre-trial detention (the so-called enforcement).
Appeal at the Chamber of Indictment (AI):
If the Council Chamber decides to put the suspect in temporary liberty, the PPS can lodge an appeal against this. In the opposite case, when the Council Chamber decides to maintain provisional detention, the suspect can lodge an appeal against this. In these cases, the case will be handled on appeal before the Chamber of Accusation.
Both the examining magistrate, the Council Chamber and the Chamber of Indictment can decide to release the suspect for the time being, but under certain conditions. One of the most “popular” conditions is the so-called bail. When a bail is imposed, the suspect will only be released after this bail is paid.
This guarantee can only be paid by transfer to the account of the Deposit and Consignment Office. An amount of this is determined by the body that allows the bail. The bail will be in proportion to the seriousness of the facts on the one hand and the financial possibilities of the suspect on the other. If a bail is allowed, it makes no sense to walk to the prison with cash to pay for it. Nor can the bail be paid at the court registry.
The only option is to transfer this to the account of the Deposit and Consignment Office, which will then confirm payment to the registry of the prison so that the suspect can then be released.
When the procedure is finished, the bail will be reimbursed. The repayment of the bail does not depend on the outcome of the procedure. This means that this should in principle be repaid both when there is an acquittal and also when a conviction is pronounced.
When the bail is released, any costs and legal fines will be deducted from this. If the conditions imposed are not met or the procedural obligations are not met, the bail will be acquired by the Belgian state.
It is important here that if the court does not determine the destination of the bail, the agreement of the public prosecutor is necessary to release the bail. Do you have any questions regarding criminal law in general and pre-trial detention in particular?