Do you get bond money back after court?

If you have posted bail for a loved one or for yourself recently (or you’re getting ready to post bail for someone), then you might be wondering, “Do you get bond money back after court?”

This is a common question since bail (or a bail bond) can be quite expensive — sometimes averaging as high as $50,000.

However, to answer this question, you first need to fully understand the difference between bail and bond. 

Let’s break it down.

The difference between bail and bond

Bail is the amount of money the court assigns a defendant to pay, and it varies based on criminal history and the type of crime allegedly committed. This fee allows the defendant to spend their days at home as they await for their upcoming hearings — as opposed to in jail. 

Bond, on the other hand, is something a defendant and their family will work with a bail bond agent to acquire. This is typically done if the bail amount is too high for the defendant to afford. As a result, they contact a bail bond company, and that entity posts the full bail amount on behalf of the defendant.

When you seek out a bail bond, you will likely have to pay around 10% of the total bail amount. This is important to keep in mind when we answer the question, “Do you get bond money back after court?” This percentage is considered the bail bond fee, and it’s how a bail bond company is able to remain in business and post bail for others.

Related Content: What are the consequences of jumping bail?

Do you get bond money back after court?

Typically, bail is returned to a defendant after court proceedings are officially resolved. However, if the defendant skips court, the bail bond fee will not be returned and will be considered forfeited. But if the defendant attends all court dates, bail will be refunded in full (even if the defendant is found guilty of the crime).

However, bond is a little different.

Since the 10% fee of a bail bond is considered a payment of services to a bail bond agent, this amount will NOT be refunded after court proceedings are over. The bail amount will still be refunded — but this will go back to the bail bond agent, since they originally posted bail.

As a recap, the total bail amount is refunded. The bond fee is not refunded.

Related Content: What does it mean when you forfeit bond and what are examples?

Looking for more bail bond resources?

We’ve got you covered. At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we help people throughout Kern County post bail fast, and we’d love to help you understand this process better. Check out our additional resources below and reach out to us if you have any lingering questions.