Do You Get Your Bail Money Back?

refundBail was never intended to serve as a punitive measure to be taken against the defendant in a criminal proceeding. The purpose of bail was always to compel a defendant’s attendance during the hearing of the criminal charges being filed against him, serving as a kind of monetary incentive for this purpose. And to be able to serve this purpose effectively, the amount charged needed to be substantial enough to make a defendant pay attention.

Because bail was not intended as a fine or penalty, the bail money that a defendant puts up to secure his release from jail is given not as payment but as a bond. In other words, bail is not given as payment to get out of jail; it is an amount to be held as a bond or as a kind of security for the court that, after being released from prison, you will come back to attend your court hearings. And because it is rightfully given as a bond and not as payment per se, if you do attend all of your scheduled court hearings and do not break any of the conditions of your bail, then you will get your bail money back. This will be given back once the case against you is disposed of with finality by the court, less any applicable fees or court charges. By then, its purpose has been served, which is to secure your attendance during the hearing of the case against you.

But this is true only for cash bail that you post directly with the court. If you approach a bail bondsman for help in meeting your bail, the answer would be different.

First of all, when you go to a bail bondsman, the one who puts up the monetary bond (in this case, a surety bond) will be the bail bondsman, and not you. He takes upon himself the risk of possibly losing the value of the surety bond should you skip bail. If you do skip bail, the bail bondsman will come after you to recoup the amount he lost when the surety bond was forfeited by the court. This is the amount that he will be seeking from you, whether it be through a lawsuit or through proceeding against the collateral you have provided him. This is money that you will also not get back.

Always remember that the bail bond fee, sometimes referred to as the premium, consisting of a fixed percentage of the total bail amount, and which you pay to secure the services of the current plaintiff, in this case, is non-refundable. Even if your case later gets thrown out by the court, or even if the charges against you are later dismissed, you will not be able to get this money back. The bail bond fee was paid in consideration of the services rendered to you by a bail bondsman, which consists of filing a surety bond on your behalf and ensuring your release from custody. If these services were provided to you, then the bail bondsman has given you sufficient value regarding their services in exchange for the puppy.

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