If someone has been arrested, the Crown and/or the Court may require that they have a suitable surety in order to be released. A surety is someone who volunteers to monitor the accused person in the community. They can be a residential surety, meaning that the accused person will live with them, or a non-residential surety. The main role of the surety is to make sure that the accused person is attending all court dates and following all conditions of their release. Conditions of release could include a curfew, a non-association, or a house arrest term. It is up to the surety to ensure that the accused person is following all conditions imposed by the Court.
If the surety does not think the accused person is complying, the surety is expected to phone the police. There is also a financial aspect to being a surety for someone. The surety is expected to make a pledge of money to the Court to show their faith in the accused person’s ability to comply with their conditions of release. If the accused person breaches their release conditions or fails to attend at court, this money could be seized from the surety – even if the surety has supervised the accused to the best of their ability.
Your application to be a surety for someone, and take on all the obligations of being a surety, must be voluntary. If approved, you are entitled to revoke your surety at any time. The Crown and/or the Court will assess your suitability to be a surety based on several factors including whether you have a criminal record, your financial status, your relationship with the accused, and your anticipated ability to monitor the accused in the community.
If you would like to find out more about becoming a surety for someone, contact Cassandra or Kristen at DeMelo Law.