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Any criminal lawyers about tonight please- question re court bail

(6 Posts)
LegalMatters Thu 30-Jul-15 22:08:20

Wondering if you can help please.
I don't want to give to much identifying information about any particular cases.

However, was wondering what would happen if someone acted as security for someone (and paid a surety) and the person on bail broke their bail conditions (eg the curfew on one occasion, not absconding before the trial or anything), would the security have a chance to defend themselves should the court decide that they have to forfeit bail money.

It seems unfair that they are happy to take the money (without enquiring into someone's personal circumstances and whether they can afford to lose the money etc) and not then offer them the chance to prove how much work they have put into ensuring person keeps bail terms

EldonAve Fri 31-Jul-15 20:33:18 guidance here

LegalMatters Fri 31-Jul-15 22:17:27

Thank you EldonAve. I have read that link before but still struggle with some of it as it appears that defendant will get a lot of opportunity to defend himself with regards to breach of bail conditions but surety is not mentioned. However, this bit is particularly interesting.

"You should always assess the quality of persons who are presented to the court as sureties, seeking assistance from the Police wherever necessary. Where appropriate, the previous convictions of a proposed surety should be brought to the attention of a court. Particular care should be taken to ensure that the potential sureties are genuinely able to afford in their own right the sums for which they are making themselves liable. If the court and the Defence do not fully explore the status and means of the potential surety, the Prosecutor should do this in the interests both of justice and the surety.

Where the court is considering whether a surety should forfeit all or part of his or her recognisance you should be prepared to assist the court with the history of the matter and, if necessary, the relevant law. "

In the case I'm concerned about, the court didn't question the surety's background, whether they could afford the sum and whether there may have been any pressure placed upon them to act as security.

EldonAve Fri 31-Jul-15 22:28:47

From my reading (not legal) I think it implies that the surety would not be forfeit for bail breach
But failure to turn up in court would result in loss of surety

EldonAve Fri 31-Jul-15 22:34:30

sorry I meant breach of bail conditions

breach of bail conditions can mean the person is recalled to court

if they don't return to court then the surety may be forfeit

it won't be forfeit just because they breached the conditions

LegalMatters Sat 01-Aug-15 21:45:59

That's really helpful EldonAve. Many thanks.

It makes sense that primarily the surety is to ensure they turn up for court.

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