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

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.

  • 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?
“Can the Prosecution prove that you intended to indemnify the accused?”

The maximum penalty for Indemnifying Surety (s31 of the Bail Act 1977) is a fine of 15 penalty units or imprisonment for three months.

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