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BEING A SURETY:

A Surety is typically a person who knows the accused and would be considered by the accused a responsible person. They are usually a Canadian Citizen or Landed Immigrant and 21 years of age or older. It is important that the proposed Surety not have a criminal record or not be facing their own criminal charges. If a full bail hearing is held, the Surety will be required to take the stand and demonstrate to the Justice that they are responsible and that they will enforce compliance with bail conditions. This is crucial to the process and you should talk to a lawyer to discover what this involves.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT COURT:

The next step in the process is a bail hearing. The Crown Attorney does not want your loved one back out in the street to commit further crimes or breach his conditions of bail. They will be looking for a Surety to supervise the accused while he/she is out on bail awaiting trial. This person is crucial to the bail process. A lawyer will be able to canvass potential people with you and decide which person or persons are best suited to a successful bail hearing, or if more than one is required.

The Surety at the bail hearing is the person who presents themselves to the court as a responsible person who is capable and willing to supervise the accused while they are on bail. This person must have some money or assets to satisfy the court that they take this matter seriously, and they are willing to post this amount of money. This amount depends on the circumstances of each case and the circumstances of each surety. Usually this amount is what the Justice of the Peace decides it is in the particular case. It depends on the severity of the offence and the net worth of the Surety, among other factors. Again, a lawyer will be able to advise you regarding how much you should risk.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING:

Bring some proof of assets with you to court. You may be required to prove to the court that you own a portion of the house equity or RRSP that you intend on posting. A bank statement print out or property tax bill usually suffices. Also, bring ID for yourself with a proper address on it, such as a Driver’s License.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS SURETY:

Bail conditions are a serious matter and not to be taken lightly, since if there be a breach, this is considered a further crime and your loved one will be charged with a further offence. The accused will be taken into Police custody and a further bail hearing will be required. The original person who bailed the accused out will not be permitted to act as Surety in a further bail hearing. Which means that a new Surety must step forward to act

Bail is a very important part of the criminal justice system. Getting bail is critical to launching a successful defence if you have been charged in Toronto. Bail is not something which is automatically granted, and, at the Provincial level, there is only one shot at it. If your bail hearing is unsuccessful, the only way to get your loved one out on bail is to conduct a bail review. Costs skyrocket for a bail review, so make your choices wisely. It is best to have a lawyer represent you or your loved one at a bail hearing in Toronto.

While out on bail, it is the responsibility of the Surety to monitor compliance with all bail conditions. To do this it is important that the Surety have a copy of the bail and read the conditions near the bottom of the page. These conditions must be enforced by the Surety and it is up to the Surety to convince a Justice of the Peace that they will actually do this. If they fail at this, the accused will be charged with a further crime of Failing to Comply with his/her bail. The consequences to the Surety of letting this happen is that they may forfeit the money that they posted.

It is also the responsibility of the Surety to make sure that the accused actually comes to court to face the charges.

IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE:

You may also withdraw you commitment to be a Surety at any time prior to the outcome of the charges by calling police or going to the courthouse and speaking with a crown attorney.