What is a surety?
A surety is a person who promises to the Court that they will ensure that you will comply with your bail conditions.
A surety is a person, who as a condition of the grant of bail, undertakes to forfeit a specified amount of money if you fail to appear at Court or breach a condition of your bail.
The following are relevant factors a Magistrate will consider when considering the suitability of a proposed surety:
- The surety’s financial resources;
- His/her character and any previous convictions; and
- His/her proximity (whether in point of kinship, place of residence or otherwise) to the person he/she is to be a surety.
The purpose of having a surety is to have someone accept the responsibility of ensuring that the accused appears in Court on the return date.
What happens to the surety if bail is breached?
If you breach any of your bail conditions, the Police may make an application to the Court to revoke your bail.
If such an application is made, the accused person may be charged with breach offences and remanded back into custody.
If there is a surety, the Court may order that the surety amount be forfeited to the Court.
Can a surety remove him/herself?
A surety is able to make an application which granted bail to have him/herself removed as a surety. If such an application is made, the Court will issue a warrant for your arrest.
If the Magistrate decides to grant the surety’s application you will be required to find another surety or security for your attendance at Court. You may be remanded if you are unable to find another surety.
The same process applies in the event that your surety passes away.