So You Want to Be a Surety – What is a Surety? Seven Important Facts

1. What is a surety?

A surety is a person who agrees to be responsible for someone who is accused of a crime and out of custody while waiting for trial. It is a big job, not to be taken lightly.

2. What are a surety’s duties?

  1. To ensure the accused person comes to courts on time when required;
  2. To ensure the accused person obeys each condition of the bail order or recognizance. For example, the accused person may have to report to police or may have a curfew. He or she may be prohibited from drinking alcohol.

3. Does a surety have to deposit money and if so how much?

Sometimes a cash deposit is required if someone is a surety.

More often a surety signs a bond for a certain amount.

There is no fixed amount of money that a surety must pledge.  The amount will vary based on the accused person and the charges and also based on the amount that the surety pledges relative to his or her net worth.

In other words, if you only have $10,000.00 to your name the amount you may be asked to pledge could be less than if you are a millionaire.

4. What if the accused person does not comply with the bail order?

You should not accept to be a surety unless you are sure you can supervise the accused person.

If the accused person disobeys a condition, he or she may be charged with another criminal offence.

You may lose the money you pledge as a surety.

5. What if I no longer want to be a surety?

The obligations of a surety last until the case is completely over. This may take a long time.

If you wish to end your role as a surety before the case is over here are your choices:

  1. You can bring the accused person to court and ask that you be relieved of your responsibilities, or
  2. You can come to court and apply in writing to be relieved of your duties. The court will then issue and order for the arrest of the accused person.

It is also sometimes possible to substitute one surety for another, but this must be done on an application to the Court.

6. Who is eligible to be a surety?

Whether or not the judge or justice of the peace accepts you as a surety is dependant on the specific situation, including the type of charges and the accused person’s criminal record.

The Court will consider your finances, your character and background.  Although it is not impossible, it is unusual for someone with a criminal record to be a surety.

The Court will also consider whether the surety has the time to properly supervise the accused person.  Someone whose schedule is full may not be a suitable surety.

7. Can the accused person’s lawyer give me advice about being a surety?

No.  The accused person’s lawyer cannot give you legal advice.  Sometimes a surety will obtain independent legal advise ensure that he or she is fully aware of the rights and obligations.

If you or a loved one need help getting out of jail on bail, you need an experienced criminal defence lawyer.  A criminal defence lawyer at Auger Hollingsworth can assist you.  Contact us by clicking here or by telephone at 613 233-4529.

45 Facts You Should Learn about Ontario Drunk Driving Cases

Six elements that must be proven before you can be found guilty of impaired driving in Ontario:

  1. You identity
  2. As a driver
  3. Of a motor vehicle
  4. As a driver operating a motor vehicle in a public place while
  5. Your blood alcohol was over one of the prescribed limit by
  6. the introduction of alcohol into the body

Ten items your Ottawa defence lawyer wants to know:

  1. What your schedule was before the arrest.
  2. What you drank and how much.
  3. Described you observations of the officer.
  4. Why the officer says he or she stopped you.
  5. Were you asked to take roadside tests?
  6. The results on roadside tests.
  7. The results on roadside tests.
  8. What you said to the officer.
  9. The results of any breath or blood tests.
  10. The names and contact information for any witnesses to your arrest.
  11. How long it took from the time of your arrest to the time the breathalyzer was administered.

Three ways your defence lawyer can discredit the arresting officer’s testimony:

  1. Inconsistent statements by the officer or officers involved in the arrest.
  2. Failure on the part of the police officer to recollect your case.
  3. Failure to make important notations in the officer’s duty to book notes, for example failure to record the time of the arrest and the time of breathalyzer.

Three secrets the Crown Attorney does not want you to know:

  1. The Crown does not have all the witnesses available to prove the case.
  2. The Crown has exculpatory evidence which would prove your innocence.
  3. The Crown has evidentiary problems in proving your blood alcohol level.

Four things that are crucial to your defence:

  1. An excellent investigation of the facts.
  2. Skillful cross-examination.
  3. A thorough understanding of your Charter Rights.
  4. An experienced criminal defence lawyer.

Five ways to challenge the results of the alcohol tests:

  1. Prove the officer lacked a reasonable suspicion that you were violating the law.
  2. Prove that the officer lacked probable cause to arrest you or demand the roadside tests.
  3. Prove that the officer failed to inform  you of your rights concerning a breath or blood test.
  4. Prove that the officer lacked probable cause before he arrested you and before he required you to take a blood or breath test.
  5. Prove that the officer failed to tell you that you have a right to remain silent and to consult a lawyer.

Two considerations before deciding to please guilty to impaired driving:

  1. How strong is the Crown’s case against you?
  2. What will the outcome be of an impaired conviction?

Four pretrial motions that your defence lawyer should file, and the danger to you if they are not:

  1. Motion to exclude evidence on the ground that you were unconstitutionally stopped.
  2. Motion to exclude evidence on the grounds that there was an unconstitutional search and seizure.
  3. Motion to exclude statements on failure to give advise you of your right to remain silent and your right to consult a lawyer.
  4. Motion for disclosure of all Crown evidence.

If these motions are not filed by an experienced criminal defence lawyer, your case may not be dismissed when it should have been.  Plain and simple.

Seven defence tactics in pre-trial motions:

  1. Challenge the constitutionality of the stop.
  2. Challenge the constitutionality of the administration of the roadside tests.
  3. Challenge the constitutionality of the probable cause to arrest.
  4. Challenge whether the appropriate Charter warning were administered.
  5. Challenge how the roadside tests were given.
  6. Challenge the use of any blood or breath test.
  7. Challenge the constitutionality of any search and seizure.

Charged with impaired driving in Ottawa, Smiths Falls, Perth Ontario, Cornwall or other Ontario location?  A criminal defence lawyer at Auger Hollingsworth would be pleased to review your case for you.  Contact us here or by telephone at 613 233-4529.

Hiring an Ottawa Criminal Defence Lawyer

We read an interesting blog post today from a Miami criminal defence lawyer , Brian Tannebaum, who writes about the client who knows he/ she is under investigation but is unsure whether or not to hire a criminal defence lawyer.  The client is concerned that hiring a criminal lawyer will make him / her “look guilty”.  Brian Tannebaum’s insightful response is that you already do look guilty, at least to the police.  So, why not deal with it responsibly by hiring a criminal defence lawyer to assist you?

At Auger Hollingsworth, we get questions like that all the time from prospective clients.  The strangest variation of this question is whether or not hiring a GOOD criminal lawyer will make the client look guilty.  Our answer?  No it just makes you look smart.

If you are under investigation, speak to a criminal defence lawyer BEFORE charges are laid.  Your chances of avoiding charges increases and your anxiety level decreases if you have a lawyer stick handling for you.  Knowledge is power.  Get an expert to teach you what to expect.

One thing we know from experience, virtually no-one under investigation “talks” himself or herself out of trouble.

The Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth  can assist you with the pre-charge stage if you contact our office.  To schedule a meeting with an experienced criminal defence lawyer, call us at 613-233-4529 or email [email protected]