Do You Get Your Money Back From a Bail Bondsman?
Do You Get Your Bail Money Back in Meriden, Connecticut?
It’s one of the most common questions we hear, and it’s an excellent question to ask: when posting bail for yourself or a loved one, do you get your bail money back?
From felony bail bonds to lesser offenses, posting money for bail can be expensive. It can be a challenge to come up with the money you need on short notice. When the trial ends, will you get that money back? In most cases, the person who provides the money for bail can get some or all of the money back. Here’s how it works.
What is Bail?
When providing bail to release a loved one from jail, you pay for the temporary release of the defendant while they wait for their trial. Bail is an exchange of money or collateral to receive freedom from jail.
Since it’s a temporary release, the court will return money posted for bail—in most cases. However, the refund process can take some time after you post the money for bail release. Your refund also depends on how the defendant handles their release and if they arrive to court.
What Are the Conditions of Bail?
When the judge awards bail, it comes with conditions. The defendant must comply with all requirements to remain free on bond. The judge can impose conditions specific to the defendant and the case. However, in most cases, release on bond comes with standard conditions, including:
- No drugs, alcohol, or weapons
- Refraining from criminal activity (including not committing any crimes while out on bail)
- Avoiding contact with known criminals
- No travel outside of a designated area
- Complying with a curfew
- Maintaining employment
- Showing up for court on the scheduled day and time
If a defendant violates the terms of their bail release, the court can put them back in jail. The court can also decide to forfeit a refund of your bail money.
How Much Money Do I Get Back?
If all goes according to plan, and the defendant follows the rules and completes the court date and trial, the court will refund your money. Depending on how you paid for the bail release, you’ll receive some or all of your money back.
If the judge required a cash-only bond, you paid the full cash amount directly to the court. Most bail bond agents will not handle cash-only bonds.
- High bond amount. Judges offer a cash-only bond when a defendant is a high risk, a repeat offender, or commits a serious felony offense. With a high, cash-only bond requirement, it can be more challenging to bail someone out of jail when a judge feels like a defendant shouldn’t have an easy way to get back on the streets before the trial.
- Low bond amount. The court can require a cash-only bond for a minor offense. In many cases, these small amounts don’t require the help of a band bond agent to release your friend from jail.
Bond agents avoid high cash-only bonds to reduce their risk of a significant financial commitment. Since a bond agent isn’t working on behalf of the defendant to provide a bail bond for release, you must pay the court directly.
Make sure your loved one complies with all conditions of their bail release to ensure you get your money back. Depending on the outcome of the trial, you’ll receive some or all of your money back. If the court assesses fines to the defendant, the court can choose to deduct those fines from the bail amount before refunding the remaining amount to you.
When the court offers the option of a bond, you pay only a percentage of the total bail amount in exchange for the release of your loved one. You can choose to pay this amount yourself directly to the court. After your loved one arrives for court and completes the terms of their bail release, you’ll receive a refund of the amount you paid to the court.
You can also choose to hire a bail bondsman to handle the payment and release details for your loved one. If you don’t have the cash or collateral to pay the minimum amount to the court, a bonding agent pays the court upfront on behalf of the defendant. You pay the bail agent:
- the minimum 35% required downpayment
- a 10% fee to the bonding agent for their services
When a bail bondsman can work on your behalf, it eases your upfront financial burden. Choose a bond agent that offers a payment plan to minimize your out-of-pocket payments when it’s time to post the bond for your loved one.
With a payment plan, you pay the bond agent in regular installments until you reach the minimum 35% amount paid back to the agent plus the 10%. When your loved one completes their court dates and bail conditions, the court refunds the bail bond agent. Your agent then refunds the 35% bail downpayment back to you.
In exchange for these services, the bonding agent keeps the 10% fee for providing their services.
Choose a Bail Bondsman to Reduce the Financial Impact
It can be challenging to come up with a bail payment when it’s time to help a loved one get out of jail. A bail bondsman takes care of the initial financial burden, so your loved one doesn’t have to wait in jail longer than they need to be there.
Make sure your bonding agent offers a variety of payment methods and can work with you on a payment plan or collateral to help you until the court can refund the amount paid for your loved one’s release.
Do You Get Your Bail Money Back? A Bonding Agent Can Help
When wondering, “do you get your bail money back,” a bail bondsman can help you walk through the process. Liza Davis Bail Bonds can post a bond for your loved one right away. We are available 24/7, walk you through the bail process, meet you at the jail, and arrange the bail payment, and make sure you get your bond payment back after your loved one’s trial.
Contact us with your questions at 860-818-7078.
DO YOU NEED BAIL? WE ARE AVAILABLE 24/7!