Q. What is Bail?
A. Bail is defined as pre-trial release. It may be considered a contract whereby an accused person is released on certain terms from custody to his surety/sureties. The surety/sureties responsibility is/are to ensure the defendant attend court at every hearing, until the case is heard and determined.
Q. What are the different types of Bail?
A.Own Bail – This is where the Defendant signs the Bail Bond for himself.
Bail with a named surety – This is where the Magistrate approves a named Bailor in Court, using a valid Trinidad and Tobago National Identification Card, Drivers’ Permit or Passport only. No form of security is used.
Bail With Surety to be approved by the Clerk of the Peace – The following documents are to be provided:
i. A Certified copy of Deed,
ii. Most recent Land and Building Taxes Receipt,
iii. Identification Card, Passport/Drivers’ Permit
The person who is accepted as the surety or bailor must be approved by the Clerk of the Peace.
Cash Bail – The person who is presenting himself as the surety for the cash bail is required to show proof of the source of funds. This requires the production of a recent bank statement( usually not more than 6 months) to the Clerk of the Peace.
Police Bail – A senior police officer decides that a person charged for a minor offence may be granted bail. This is usually done where a person is in custody during hours when the court is not sitting e.g. weekend and public holidays. The magistrate will regularize the bail once the person attends court.
Q. My relative/friend was charged by the Police, where do I go to obtain information with respect to the Court-room where she/he would be appearing?
A. At the relevant Court’s Registry.
Q. What happens if I stood bail as surety for a relative/friend and she/he fails to attend Court?
A. The magistrate will issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant, the bail bond will be forfeited and a summons to show cause will be issued to the bailor to attend court.