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Do You Get Bail Money Back?

If You Bail Someone Out Of Jail Do You Get Your Money Back

Bail isn’t cheap. 
After spending all that money, you might be asking yourself this question: “Do you get bail money back?”
In short, it depends. We’ve put together this guide to help you find out if/when you can get your money back. 
Let’s dive in!

Do You Get Bail Money Back?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. 
You can get your bail money back, but that doesn’t mean you will. This depends on a number of factors, including the type of bail you paid and whether or not you show up to your court dates
Here’s when you can and can’t get your bail money back. 

Surety Bail

A surety bail is also known as a bail bond, and it’s what many people think of when they hear the word “bail.” This is often the type of bail you’ll get if you work with a bail bondsman. 
In this case, you only have to pay a certain percentage of the bail amount, usually 10%. In other words, if your bail was posted for $5,000, you’ll only have to pay $500. This makes it a lot easier to post bail if you don’t have a lot of wiggle room in your finances. 
However, you won’t get this money back. 
It doesn’t matter if you’re found innocent or guilty. This money is non-refundable. 

Cash Bail 

For this type of bail, you have to pay the entire amount (rather than a small percentage) in cash to the court. You will usually get this money back after you, or the defendant, shows up to all the necessary court appearances. 
But there are a few exceptions. 
If the defendant fails to appear at all their court dates—even just one, you won’t get your money back. You will also lose your money if the defendant gets arrested again while they’re out of jail on bail. 
However, you will get your money back even if the defendant is found guilty in court. In this case, you will be refunded after the sentencing. 

Property Bail

If you don’t have enough money to pay for a cash bail, you can also post a property bail. This means you can exchange a piece of your property, such as a home or a car, for getting out of jail. 
You’ll still keep the property with you initially. 
But if you or the defendant misses a court date, the court will seize the property you offered. Otherwise, you’ll be able to keep your property, meaning you don’t have to worry about getting any money refunded later. 

Understanding Bail: Where Does the Money Go?

So do you get bail money back?
The short answer is sometimes. 
If you pay a bail premium with a bail bondsman, you won’t get any money refunded. If you pay a cash bail or property bail, you should get your money back—provided you or the defendant you paid bail for shows up to court.  
Do you still have a few questions?
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