Difference between a bailable and a non-bailable Offence

If a person is arrested for a bailable offence, the police can immediately release him on personal surety. He/she does not have to be produced in court. Non-bailable offences are of a more serious type, which invokes higher punishment (imprisonment for a period of three or more years). In such cases, the police do not have the power to grant bail. Serious crimes such as rape, murder, dowry death, cruelty to wives, etc. come within its purview. However, even in these cases, when the accused person is produced before the magistrate, he/she has a right to file an application for bail, and the magistrate has the power to grant him/her bail. If he/she does not have a lawyer the person is entitled to legal aid for the purpose of making this application. If the person is apprehensive that he will be arrested for a criminal offence, he/she file an application for anticipatory bail in advance and avoid the arrest for a limited period of time. If anticipatory bail is granted, even if an FIR is registered, the police will investigate the matter without arresting the accused.

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