“Bail” is a commonly used term for a Recognizance of Bail.
When a person is not released by the arresting officer, the person must be taken before a judicial officer to determine whether the person should remain in custody pending trial.
The term “bail” is often used to refer to the money paid as security for the person showing up the next time he or she is required to appear in court.
Bail, or judicial interim release, is an integral part of the legal process in Canada. Section 11(e) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right of the accused “not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause.”
The Canadian Criminal Code requires anyone who is arrested to be brought before a justice of the peace who will determine whether the accused is to be released before trial.
The purpose of bail is to give the accused the opportunity to participate in the development of his/her defence while assuring his/her presence at trial.
The Crown may adduce evidence about why the accused should not be released until trial. A good defence lawyer may strategically assist you to retain your liberty until trial. Don’t risk spending your time in custody awaiting trial.
The Role of a Surety
A surety is an integral part of the release of the accused from jail once charges have been laid. A surety is usually a friend or family member of the accused who signs bail for the accused and pledges to sign an amount of money so that the accused can be released from jail until trial, or resolution of the case. Most of the time, the surety will not have to deposit that amount of money; rather he must show that the money is available if needed.
The surety must supervise the accused and make sure he attends all court appearances and abide by the conditions of their bail. Otherwise the accused may go back to jail, and the surety may face serious consequences, including losing the money they put up. Selecting a proper surety will expedite the process of release from jail pending trial or resolution.
Who can be a Surety?
- is at least 21 years old
- is a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident
- can show that they have enough money available for the bail
- is not involved with the charges
- has no criminal record
- is employed
- is not an employee of the accused
- can show formal picture ID and proof of residence
- is not currently a surety for someone else.
*Exceptions may apply.