Do you get bail money back if found guilty?

Do you get bail money back if found guilty? This is definitely a frequently asked question around here. 

But whether you’re eventually found guilty or innocent, it’s important to understand what happens to all that bail money. Is bail money returned or not? And what happens if you work with a bail bond agent instead? Do you lose money at that point?

Let’s take it one scenario at a time.

Is bail returned if you pay the court?

Keep Reading: How is bail amount determined by the court?

If you paid bail directly to the court, then you can rest easy knowing that the bail money will be returned in full. However, the case has to be completely over and done with — meaning nothing can be pending. This is good news considered how steep bail is these days — averaging around $50k in California.

Is bail returned if you work with a bail bond company?

Since bail is so expensive, it’s not uncommon for defendants and their loved ones to seek out a bail bond company. A bail bond company will pay the full bail amount to the court on the defendant’s behalf. However, this is not a free service. Bail bond agents will charge you a premium in exchange for posting bail — this is usually a small percentage of the total bail amount. This fee is nonrefundable, even if you are eventually found innocent of all charges. So while the total bail amount is refundable — the bail premium is not refundable when you work with a bail bond company.

Keep Reading: How do bail bond companies work?

Is bail returned if you’re found guilty?

Whether you’re found innocent or guilty of the charges, bail is returned. But again, the case has to be completely over before this can happen. Bail is simply a preventative measure to make sure defendants return to court for trial. It is not an opportunity for the court system to make extra money. Because of this, bail is returned.

Keep Reading: Can you bail someone out of jail with no money?

How to decide how to post bail

If you’re trying to decide how to pay bail, working with a bail bond company is often the better choice. Since the court process can take a while, most people are hesitant to temporarily empty out their savings account to pay bail (even if it is returned at the end of everything). A bail bond company gives you the opportunity to keep your money and get your loved one out of jail while they await trial. The bail premium is usually worth it in the long run. 

If you need help posting bail, we can help. At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we have decades of experience helping people post bail in Bakersfield, Taft, Lamont, and throughout Kern County. Give us a call or send us a message to get help today.