Understanding When and Why Sureties Should Revoke Bail in Ontario

Explore the critical reasons and processes for sureties to consider revoking bail in Ontario, with professional insights from Sondhi Defence.
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When and Why Sureties Should Revoke Bail in Ontario: A Legal Perspective

Imagine being responsible for someone’s freedom, knowing that your decision can impact their life and the safety of the community. That’s the critical role sureties play in Ontario’s bail process. Sureties may need to revoke bail if the person they are supervising fails to follow bail conditions or poses a risk to the public. This complicated decision requires careful thought and a deep sense of responsibility.

When bail conditions are violated, the safety balance tips, making it crucial to understand when revoking bail becomes necessary. Revoking bail is not an easy choice, but sometimes it is necessary.

At Sondhi Defence, we understand these tough decisions and can provide guidance on navigating this challenging terrain. Join us as we delve into the reasons and timing behind such critical actions, offering insights and support every step of the way.

Understanding the Role of a Surety

Sureties play a crucial role in the bail process in Ontario. As a surety, you agree to supervise an accused person while they are out on bail. You also agree to pay a specified amount of money if the accused fails to follow bail conditions or doesn’t show up to court.

Your responsibilities as a surety include ensuring the accused attends all court dates and monitoring the the accused to ensure they do not commit any further criminal offence while out on bail. You also take responsibility for making sure the accused follows all bail conditions set by the court. If the accused breaches the bail conditions, it is your job to report to law enforcement. Essentially, you act as a police officer personally assigned to monitor the accused person.

In order to properly supervise the accused as a surety, you have to be aware of and understand the bail conditions of the accused as well. Bail conditions typically include restrictions on travel, prohibitions on contacting certain individuals, or requirements for regular check-ins with the police.

Finally, you must understand the potential risks involved in your role. If the accused person breaches bail conditions, you may lose a significant amount of money, which is typically promised to the court at the bail hearing when you agree to serve as a surety.

In short, being a surety makes you an important participant in the bail process in Canada. Considering the level of risk and responsibility the role demands, it is reasonable that you are able to revoke bail at any time you want.

Reasons for Revoking Bail

In Canada, sureties need not provide a reason for choosing to step down from their position. All that is required is informing the court of your intention not to be a surety for the accused person any longer. And there are several reasons why you might decide to do this.

Signs of Non-compliance with Bail Conditions

One of the main reasons to revoke bail is if the accused person is not willing to follow the set conditions. Common bail conditions include:

  • Curfew: The accused must be home during specific hours.

  • No-contact Orders: The accused must avoid contact with certain individuals.

  • Travel Restrictions: The accused cannot leave a defined area.

If you notice signs of unwillingness to comply, you may need to take action. You can step down from your role as their surety, in which case, they will likely be taken back into police custody.

Change in Circumstances

Sometimes, individual circumstances change, affecting your ability to act as a surety. These changes can be:

  • Personal: Health issues or family emergencies.

  • Financial: Loss of job or unexpected expenses.

When your ability to fulfill your role as a surety is compromised, revoking bail might be necessary to avoid further complications. For example, if you find that you are no longer able to bear the financial burden should the accused person violate their bail conditions, it might be best for you to step down from being their surety.

Loss of Trust or Confidence

Trust is crucial between a surety and an accused person. If you lose confidence in their ability to follow bail conditions, this can impact you emotionally and psychologically. Signs that your trust is eroding include:

  • Repeated Lies: The accused has lied about their whereabouts or activities.

  • Suspicious Behavior: You notice sketchy or dangerous behaviour.

Considering the risks involved in acting as a surety, it is essential that you completely trust the accused person to be responsible for fulfilling their own part of the bargain. The moment they begin to breach the trust, revoking bail is often the best course of action to protect yourself.

How to Revoke Bail as a Surety

The process of revoking bail is relatively straightforward. It involves doing the following:

  • bringing the accused person to court and asking to be discharged of your duty as a surety or
  • coming to court alone and applying in writing to be discharged of duty as a surety

It might be impossible to come with the accused person when going to court to revoke bail as a surety. If you do not want the accused to be aware or you believe they will be a threat to your safety, you can go to court alone. The moment you are released from your role as a surety, it becomes the duty of law enforcement to arrest the accused person and take them back into custody.

After Revoking Bail

Once the bail order is revoked, accused persons face the following outcomes:

  • Immediate arrest and return to jail.

  • They may apply for bail again with a different surety.

  • They may apply for bail again with you as their surety again if circumstances have changed and you are now willing to resume the duties of a surety again.

Legal implications of revoking bail as a surety:

  • Your financial obligation to the court ends.

  • You will no longer be responsible for ensuring the accused follows bail conditions.

Legal Support and Advice

It’s crucial for sureties to seek legal advice when considering revoking bail. We strongly recommend consulting with an experienced bail hearing lawyer to understand all the legal implications. Legal professionals can provide the necessary guidance and support to navigate this complex decision effectively.

At Sondhi Defence, we offer comprehensive support for sureties contemplating revocation of bail. Our team can help you understand the specific procedures and consequences involved, ensuring you make informed decisions.

Key Considerations:

  • The accused’s criminal record and behaviour while on bail.

  • Potential legal and financial risks to the surety.

When it comes to protecting your interests, several legal considerations must be taken into account. We advise sureties to carefully evaluate the situation and strategize to mitigate risks.

Contact Sondhi Defence for Further Legal Guidance

In this article, we have explored when and why sureties should revoke bail in Ontario. Revoking bail is a serious decision that can have significant implications, which is why we strongly recommend seeking guidance from an experienced criminal lawyer. Our professionals, like those at Sondhi Defence, can offer you the valuable advice and support you need to navigate this complex situation.

Furthermore, as experienced bail hearings attorneys, we may be able to intercede earlier on in the case to help the accused person get favourable bail terms or even get released on their own recognizance so that there is no need for you to act as a surety in the first place. As such, the importance of early involvement of a skilled attorney in any criminal case cannot be overstated.

Book a consultation with us today for skilled legal guidance and representation.

Get In Touch

If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offence, call us right away at 1 (855) 4-SONDHI and get our team on your side. 

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