What is a surety?

>>>What is a surety?

A surety is a person who will put a deposit up in the form of either cash or money to secure the release of an accused out on bail. Once the accused is released, the surety will be deemed responsible for the accused while they are out on bail.

If you are considering acting as a surety, you will have to ensure the court that you will make sure that the accused comes to court as required, and that you will see to it that the accused obeys all of the conditions of his or her release. For example, you will have to make sure the accused person does not drink alcohol or consume drugs, that the accused person obeys his or her curfew, and that the accused does not come into contact with the victims of his or her crime.

Who can be a surety?

In order to be a surety you need to be:

  • An adult
  • A Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
  • Have no criminal record. If you do have a criminal record it should only be for very minor offences or for very dated offences
  • Someone with sufficient funds or assets to cover the bail
  • Capable of monitoring the accused while he or she is on release

Whether you can act as a surety for someone who is going to be released on bail is not your choice alone. Rather, it is an application that will need to be made before the court, ideally with the assistance of a criminal defence lawyer who can help ensure that you are presented as an appropriate fit to the court, and who can help ensure that the accused is released on bail.

When considering whether someone should be a surety for an accused on bail, the court will consider the factors listed above. The court will largely be looking for someone who is a trustworthy and upstanding citizen, particularly since you will be obligated to call the police if the person on bail violates the conditions of his or her release. Further, the court will be looking for someone who has a schedule that will allow them to properly monitor the accused and ensure that he or she is respecting curfew, or is remaining within the boundaries of his or her house arrest if required. In order to demonstrate your fitness to be a surety, a criminal defence lawyer can make submissions on your behalf. However, you should be prepared to testify before the court as the judge or justice may want to ask you questions about your background, character and finances. This being said, in order to be a surety, you will also have to ensure that you can be present at the accused’s bail hearing.

Importantly, if you are going to act as a surety, you will also have to pledge funds or property to the court in order to secure the release of the accused. If you do not have the actual amount of bail available to you in the form of money, you can also put your property such as real estate or a vehicle to cover the posted bail. However, be warned that if the accused breaches the conditions of his or her bail, you will lose that money.

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All our 30-60 minute free consultations are conducted with one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers and include the following steps:

  1. Gathering of some personal information about you, such as your level of education, occupation, and citizenship status. This information can be crucial for building your defence and seeking a resolution with the Crown Prosecutor;
  2. Careful review of all documents you received from the police. We will explain what each document is, and what you can expect from and need to do for all upcoming appearances;
  3. Critical review of your recollection of events, and any supporting materials you choose to bring with you. This step helps us identify possible defences and avenues for further investigation; and
  4. Discussion of the court process, our fee structure, and what we can do to help.

Beyond these steps, we would be happy to tell you more about us, and answer any questions you may have. If you chose to retain us to help you, we will immediately provide an overview of what steps we plan to take next, and suggestions as to what you should do to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

For the free initial consultation to be as productive as possible, you should bring (or email in advance) the following materials:

  • A written statement (preferably typed) outlining your version of events;
  • All documents that you have been given by the court or by the police;
  • Any disclosure you have received;
  • Photo ID; and
  • Any supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, texts, phone records, medical records, receipts, etc.

Ideally, you will have prepared a copy of these materials for us to keep, but if not, we can always photocopy them during the consultation.

We offer flexible payment options and structures designed to meet our clients’ individual needs. Our lawyers accept all major credit cards, bank drafts, money orders, email money transfers (e-transfers) and, of course, cash.

If you decide to retain us after the free initial consultation, all we need is a retainer (down payment) to get started. The rest of the fee payments for the case can be spaced out over time. We can set you up on a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, and process payments over the telephone or by email to make it easy for you.

The cost of a criminal defence lawyer will depend on several factors, including:

  1. how complex your case is,
  2. how serious the charges are, and
  3. how experienced the Criminal Defence lawyer is.

The fees of a competent Criminal Defence Lawyer will typically range into the thousands of dollars. The good news is that only a fraction of that amount is due initially. We offer flexible payment schedules so thefees can be paid in monthly installments.

Additionally, we offer flat rate fees, with no hidden costs. It is our standard practice to review all the costs during the free initial consultation. This means you will know exactly what our services cost at the outset and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.