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What is Bail?

‘Bail’ is a written promise which is signed (called an undertaking) to appear in court on a particular date. (

Conditions of Bail

An important condition of bail is that the accused cannot commit any further offences whilst on bail. As well as this, the accused must appear in court on the date required. To ‘secure’ this condition, a surety may be needed.

What is a surety?

A surety is someone who acts as a ‘confirmation’ or ‘guarantee’ that the accused will attend court on the desired date. The confirmation is bound through a security deposit and signed affidavit. If the accused attends court as promised, the deposit will be returned. However, if the accused does not attend court on the desired date, the security deposit will be forfeited.

“Am I eligible to act as a surety?”

To be a surety, certain criteria must be met.

You may be eligible to act as a surety if you are:

  • 18-years of age or older; and

  • have not been previously convicted of an indictable offence.

However, there are more conditions to be met. These are outlined in section 21 of the Bail Act 1980 (QLD), which states:

“(1) Every surety to an undertaking must be a person who— ….

… (c) is not—

(i) an involuntary patient under the Mental Health Act 2016 who is, or is liable to be, detained in an authorised mental health service under that Act; or

(ii) a forensic disability client within the meaning of the Forensic Disability Act 2011; or

(iii) a person for whom a guardian or administrator has been appointed under the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000; and

(d) is not an insolvent under administration; and

(e) has not been, and is not likely to be, charged; and

(f) is worth not less than the amount of bail in real or personal property.”

Bail Refusal

If bail is refused by the Magistrates Court, there are options for the defendant to apply to the Supreme Court.

If bail is refused in the Supreme Court, the defendant can appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal, which will review the bail application.

What’s next?

If you are considering providing a surety for someone, it is important to speak directly to a professional lawyer. If you require assistance, please contact us today.

Over 50 Years’ Experience in Criminal Law

Creevey Horrell Lawyers is a leading Queensland firm in criminal law and misconduct. Our team has more than 50 years of combined experience in criminal law matters, with a track record of achieving outstanding results for our clients. Offices in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Roma, and Townsville.

Call 1800-crime-law (1800 2746 3529) for around the clock service.

For more information, call 07 3009 6555 OR email us at

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