October 20, 2016 Jessica Lowe 0Comment

A Closer Look into Crucial Role Played by a Criminal

Defence Lawyer in Explaining Responsibilities of a Surety During Bail Hearing

Is someone you know has been accused in a criminal case? Are you planning to act as surety for the person? If this is the situation you are in and looking for some guidance by an experienced criminal defence lawyer about role and responsibilities you will have as a surety then you are at the right place. In the following sections we will delve into these details so that you are better informed of the procedure and can take right steps during bail hearing.

Role and Responsibilities of a Surety

What are the responsibilities of a surety?

criminal defence lawyerSurety plays the role of financial guarantor for the accused and has to monitor the person. It is the responsibility of the surety to make sure that accused person follows bail conditions, goes to court whenever necessary and behaves properly. In case the accused person fails to follow bail conditions or does not appear in court then the surety will have to pay the total amount that was guaranteed.

Who can qualify to become a surety?

Normally, the following details will be checked before someone is allowed to act as a surety:

  • A surety should be a landed immigrant or citizen of Canada.
  • Should not be already responsible for someone else as a surety.
  • There should not be any outstanding charges or criminal record against the person.

Some of the other aspects which will be taken into consideration by The Justice would consist of:

  • Nature of relationship surety has with the accused.
  • How often do the surety and accused communicate with each other.
  • For how long the surety has known the accused person.
  • Community ties, background, finances and character will also be examined for evaluating suitability of a person to act as a surety.

Generally, a family member whom accused person respects is an ideal candidate to become a surety.

What are the documents which surety needs to bring at the time of bail hearing?

Surety needs to bring in the following documents:

  • For photo identification the surety should bring documents such as health card, passport or driver's license.
  • For demonstrating affordability the surety needs to arrange documents like recent GIC, RSP or bank statements. The person should also bring documents which show home's value and arrange other documents such as tax assessment or income stubs.

Is it a prudent decision to speak with the accused prior to bail hearing?

Yes, you should make an attempt to speak with the accused prior to bail hearing. Such discussion will help you understand whether accused consents to having you as his or her surety. 

Some of the other aspects which you should discuss with the accused should consist of:

  • Plans you have about where the accused person would live.
  • What would be the bail conditions and whether the accused will be able to abide them.
  • The hardships that will arise due to bail conditions.
  • Provide clear information to accused about the repercussions of not following court's or your instructions.


If you want to act as a surety then it will be important to discuss all the legal details with a competent criminal defence lawyer. This way you will have the assurance that you are taking the right steps, have all the needed documents and the court will allow you to take up this responsibility.