Bail and Surety

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What is Bail?

Bail is a pre-trial remedy for a person trial before a Court. It is granted when the Courts has of the opinion that an accused is innocent of any charges against him until it is proven that he/she is indeed guilty.

Bail is provisional release granted by Police Officer or Magistrate is a right of an accused under Section 436 and not so under section 437 of Criminal Procedure Code. Thus, the granting of a bond is generally regarded as an inherent right. However, there are certain circumstances in which bail may be refused – these relate to Non Bailable Offences. In Non Bailable Offences, the accused may be released on bail if the competent authority considers it appropriate. The relevant circumstances should be presented to show the Court that bail would not interfere with the judicial process otherwise in the interests of justice. The amount that the accused may have to deposit with the court will be at the discretion of the judge. For certain smaller crime cases, a standard amount is set by convention and practice that must be deposited for the grant of bail.

What is Surety?

A surety is a person who appears in court on an application for bail and pledges that the accused will be present on each scheduled hearing date of a case against him upon his/her release on bail.

When is a surety required?

A surety is required in the event when an accused applies for bail in Court, as these are the people who can exert influence over any accused and who is able to have an accused attend Court hearings once released on bail.

Who can stand as surety for another?

An adult over the age of 18 being a fit and good character in front of right thinking members of the public, who established the responsibility of other people in the country, but also a person with clear influence over an accused person.

Document required for acting as surety for another

Usually, anyone who acts as surety for an accused person must have:

  • appropriate identification documents
  • copies of valid recommendations from local leaders
  • a letter from the employer proving that they are proper and fit individuals
  • when a person is a foreign national in Uganda, he/she may be required to have a certificate of good conduct adopted by Interpol.