Indemnifying Surety

– section 31 of the Bail Act 1977
Indemnifying Surety
This offence is when a defendant gets someone else to pay bail, while agreeing to pay the other person back. Both the defendant and the surety will be charged with this offence.
Examples of Indemnifying Surety
  • A man is charged with a serious crime and has bail set at $1 million. He gets someone else to pay for his bail, and arranges for $1 million to be paid to them.
What are some of the possible defences to a charge of Indemnifying Surety?
  • You did not intend to indemnify the defendant against liability.

There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • Were you aware the other person was a surety?
  • Did you intend to indemnify a person against any liability they may incur as a surety?

Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 15 penalty units or imprisonment for three months.

This offence would normally be heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

“Can the Prosecution prove that you intended to indemnify the accused?”
What is the legal definition of Indemnifying Surety?

The Prosecution must show that the accused offered to cover the costs for another person to act as a surety.

Legislation

The section that covers this offence is section 31 of the Bail Act 1977.1

Elements of the offence

The Prosecution must prove the following elements for an accused to be found guilty of this offence:

  • The accused indemnified another person (P) against any liability; or
  • The accused agreed with another person to indemnify that other person (P) against any liability; and
  • The said liability may be incurred by that other person (P) as a surety to secure the attendance in answer to bail and the surrender to custody of a person accused, or convicted of, or under arrest for an offence.

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

If found guilty of this offence and the person does not answer bail, you may receive a jail term.

Other Important Resources

 


[1] Bail Act 1977 – Section 31

(1) Any person who indemnifies another person or who agrees with another person to indemnify that other person against any liability which that other person may incur as a surety to secure the attendance in answer to bail and the surrender to custody of a person accused or convicted of or under arrest for an offence he and that other person shall be guilty of an offence.
Penalty: 15 penalty units or imprisonment for three months.
(2) An offence is committed against subsection (1) whether the agreement is made before or after the person to be indemnified becomes a surety and whether or not he becomes a surety and whether the agreement contemplates compensation in money or money’s worth.