Do you get bail money back after paying a hefty fine for your release from prison? Do you get it back if guilty? Well, there is not one answer that fits all especially in a situation where crime cases are handled across the world.
If you’re trying to free someone from prison or wondering if the money you pay will come back, we have a guide to explain you exactly that.
Let’s find out more about bail
Assuming you get arrested and then charged for an offence, until the law proves you guilty, you are innocent. However, you will have to appear in a District Court first, where you can apply for bail.
If authorities consider a prisoner innocent, the chances of release become easier. If you want release from custody before your court date, you can write a commitment to be there in court.
Bail is the money spent here for all the official proceedings. However, chances are that the court refuses to offer bail. You must know what are the causes of refusal to understand the circumstances around an imprisonment.
Well, when the law believes that there are chances that you may commit another crime while you’re on bail, then it’s your bad luck. You’ll not be able to get bail under such circumstances.
If your file gets sent to the special criminal court for trial, you will not be able to get bail. But you still hold a chance only if the Public Prosecution allows it.
Before finding out is bail money returned note that it is an agreement you have with the court. Now there is something known as a bail bond. Refrain from getting confused with a fine. It is just an assurance that you provide the court. Once released, you will still have to show up at the appointment date.
Also, remember that you hold the ultimate responsibility to show up to the court on all required dates, whether you are innocent or guilty.
Types of bail
Let’s have a look at the different types of bail bonds. Because knowing whether do you get bail money back also depends on its type:
This type of bond is one of the standard bail bonds. Most of these are issued by bail bond companies, and that would cost you about 10-12% of the bail amount.
The bail pricing is mainly set by the judge depending on the crime, and then charges you accordingly.
So, this is the most common type of bail bond because, most often bail amount may exceed your average budget.
It may be difficult to afford that cost. Hence, you can reach out to these bail bond companies. You can get a surety bond which lets you pay the amount over time.
As the name suggests, this bond is related to a property used as collateral. However, this type of bond may only be accepted or legal in some states of America. Also, under property bonds, you must have full rights against the property.
There should not be any partial rights. Real estates are the most common type of property used under these bonds.
There are other properties that you can also use as collaterals. But the time taken under property bonds may take weeks for the paper works and inspections.
Want to know is bail refunded? Well, cash bail involves money you pay entirely by cash. The return also happens through cash. This is the most recommended bail because once you appear in court and are done with all the trials, you get all your money back.
Other types of bail bonds include Immigration Bail Bonds, Federal Bail Bonds, Recognizance Releases, and Citation releases.
Do you get bail money back
Now that you know what bail is and what types of bail are there. Let’s understand whether you can get bail money back, as it is just a promise to ensure that you attend all trials and proceedings on the required dates.
The answer entirely depends on aspects like the conditions and the type of bail you choose.
Firstly, the first condition to be entitled to get the total bail money back is to show up at all required trial dates.
Then it comes to the type of bail you prefer. If the bail is done via an agency, then you will only get a portion of the amount after they deduct their fee. This fee is non-refundable, and you will have to bear the cost of it.
However, when you pay the entire bail via cash, there is nothing to worry about. You will be get the entire amount once your case closes and you meet all the required conditions asked by the court.
Now under surety bonds, there’s a bond agent involved. It is cheaper than the other types, but you pay a tiny percentage for this, known as the bail premium. This is known as a bail bond. The entire premium here is non-refundable.
Under property bonds, the authorities can seize you property if you do not appear in the court proceedings. The answer now for whether you get bail money back is yes. But depends on the conditions and type of crime.
Do you get bail money back if guilty
So, let’s assume you posted bail, be it for yourself or someone else. The first thought that comes to your mind is whether you get bail money back if guilty. The bail amount is quite a lot to afford.
Your concerns are valid. Bail cost is enormous and plays a considerable burden. Also, they put the property or cash on hold for weeks or months.
Do you get bail money back? Of course, yes! But do you get bail money back if guilty? Well, when the trial gets over and the bond discharged through Exoneration, there are chances that you may get the bail money back.
Exoneration refers to the termination of your bail obligation. The procedure starts with the court ordering the clerk’s office for Exoneration. Once the legal proceedings are over, the bailed person’s name mentioned on the papers or affidavit will get back the money.
Is bail money refundable? What are the steps involved?
As you know already, you will get the bail money back. You need to follow a few procedures to go about it:
The most crucial document you must retain with you is the receipt of the bail payment. When you miss receiving the refund within eight weeks, check it with the Finance Department.
Also, you need to have a copy of the payment you made for the bail. The other documents you must have should include the original bond form, a copy of the court order for a refund, an ID card photocopy, and a discharge order.
You must first remember that you should get the refund on your bail within eight weeks. This is only in the case of cash bail.
You should send an application claiming your refund to the Court Magistrate. The application is then forwarded to the Cashier, who then writes to the High Court requesting a refund of the said money.
The application sent by you is then sent to review by the Cashier. Then he sends the request for the refund to the High Court.
Payment and Follow-up
Until you get the payment, you must keep a check on your application. Sometimes official work delays further if you do not do proper follow-ups.
Getting your bail money back via mail
In this scenario, you may not require to do anything. When your case gets a closure, usually the court will send the order of refund to the finance department within 6-7 weeks.
Then the finance dept. Makes steps to send you a check at the mentioned address in the receipt of the cash bail.
All of this should take eight weeks and not more than that. If you don’t, the next step you need to take is to submit an application to the magistrate.
The amount of bail money considered fees
The finance department usually deducts 3% per cent from your Cash Bail for convicted. This deduction covers all the costs involved in administration.
However, you can claim your entire bail amount without any deduction if acquitted. But there are circumstances where the court may impose some additional fees. To get a clear idea, you will need to check with the court for any fees involved.
How to stop a refund on bail if you change your address?
As you know, it takes almost eight weeks for a refund on bail, but what if you changed your address in between? All you need to do is apply an affidavit for stop payment.
Deliver or mail the application to the address mentioned on the affidavit. Also, note that it takes almost 30 days to re-issuing a check once you stop the payment that has already been processed.
Now, if you are a survivor of a deceased family member or friend, you can still apply for a bail refund. All you need to submit is a surety survivor affidavit.
Now deliver or mail the notarized affidavit, the death certificate photocopy, and the paid funeral charges bill to the mentioned address.
Do you get bail money back when you fail to meet the conditions of bail?
As you post for bail, there will be a clear set of lists of conditions set by the court while you’re on bail. Generally, in most circumstances, you must attend all the court hearings.
However, it also depends on your case. If there are people involved, then there will be certain people with whom you need to follow a no-contact relationship.
Additionally, the court may not allow you to leave the boundaries of the State. And there may also be conditions for you to attend some alcohol or drug program, depending on the case.
And when you fail you meet any of the conditions asked by the court, it has all the right to forfeit the bail money. Before you post bail, you should know the conditions involved.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Do you get your bail money back if there is no Bondsman?
When you don’t take any help from a third party, you get your refund, but only if you comply with everything that the court asked you to.
2. Do you get your bail money back when there is Bondsman?
When you take the help of a bondsman, the entire responsibility goes to the Bondsman for getting you out of jail. It does not matter to the Bondsman whether you are guilty or innocent.
For example, suppose the bail amount is $5,000. It is a massive amount for which you took the help of a bondsman who played the role of a guarantor. Now the Bondsman charges you $1,000 as a fee. Now even after following all the conditions mentioned by the court, you will not get any refund for paid fee. The amount stays with the Bondsman.
3. How does bail money under property bail work?
Under property bail, you do not get any refund of the amount. But once you complete all the conditions and your case closes, you will get all rights to your property. However, this process usually takes a lot more time compared to cash bail returns.
I hope this article sums up everything about getting the bail money back and answers all your doubts about bail.
However, remember, “Bail jumping” is a significant offence that can create bigger problems in the future. Hence make sure you comply with all the rules and regulations mentioned.