Forms of bail

Own undertaking

There are different forms of bail; however, most people are bailed simply “on their own undertaking”. This means the only person responsible for the accused attending court when required to do so is the accused themselves.

Sometimes the accused has to deposit a sum of money with the police or the courts before being released. An accused is entitled to recover the deposit once the matter against them is determined.


Sometimes another person will be required to deposit or “put up” a sum of money or property. Such a person is called a “surety” (see “Sureties and deposits”). A surety is a person who guarantees, by putting up a security (usually a sum of money or a title to a property), that an accused person will appear at the date and place specified in the bail bond. If the accused does not turn up at court to answer their bail or otherwise fails to comply with the undertaking they entered, the security put up is liable to be forfeited to the state (s 5(3) Bail Act).