What Is Bail Surety, and Who Can Be a Surety?

handcuffs Criminal defence lawyers

A bail surety is also called a ‘security.’ This can be an accused person or an acceptable person deposits to the Court as part of their bail conditions


A Court will only impose a bail security condition like this if there is a bail concern that the accused person will fail to appear in Court if released on bail. 

Who can be a Bail Surety?

A person may become a bail surety or guarantor if a magistrate, judge, or justice of the peace approves them as suitable and of suitable character. 

The authority may look at their relationship with the accused and their ability to provide bail security.

To be a surety, you need to:

  • Be over 18 years of age,
  • Have savings and possessions that are worth more than the security required in the bail undertaking, and
  • Be wholly responsible for funding the security (that means no one else can help pay for that security, including the bail applicant; it is an offense for them to do so). Sometimes the surety will be required to either deposit or guarantee security. If you guarantee security, you will be required to show that you have the means to pay that security if the defendant breaches bail and fails to appear in Court. You will also be asked to show that any security guaranteed or deposited with the Court belongs to you.

What to do if you think the Defendant will Breach their Bail Conditions?

If you believe the defendant is likely to breach the bail undertaking and not turn up to Court, you should notify a police officer and apply to the Court to be discharged from your obligations as a surety.

Applying to the Court for discharge as a surety involves the following:


  • You need to complete an Application by surety for discharge from liability form and lodge it at the Registry of the Court;
  • You will be given a date to appear before the Court and handed an Order to Appear, which must be served on the defendant;
  • The person who serves the Order to Appear on the defendant, usually the surety, will need to complete an Affidavit of Service form and provide this to the Court; and
  • You and the person you are surety for must be in Court on the date allocated for the hearing of your application. If only one of you attend, the judge will not deal with the application, and your obligations as surety will continue.

How Do you get your Bail Money back from the Court?

The Court registry will usually issue a receipt for bail bond money/security payment.


Once the case has been finalised, a surety may ask for a refund of the bail money. To do this, the surety or person authorised by the surety must:


  • Obtain a letter from the Court the case was finalised in confirming the outcome;
  • Have a copy of the receipt of the bail deposit;
  • Have sufficient identification with signature;
  • Present all this to the Court the bail money was deposited in; and
  • If someone other than the surety will be making this or the money is to be refunded to a different bank account, the Court will need to also be presented with an authorisation letter signed and dated by the surety giving such consent.

If you still have issues with getting your money back, contact your lawyer and ask for assistance. 


  • Mohammad Khan | Criminal Defence Lawyer

    Mohammad Khan is the Principal Solicitor of Lyons Law Group. After graduating with a Bachelor of Aviation from the University of New South Wales, Mohammad took a keen interest in the law. He began training in criminal law under the tutelage of Australia’s leading criminal lawyer Adam Houda and studied law at the University of Sydney.