Do you get bond money back from a bail bondsman?

If you’re considering posting bail with the help of a bail bondsman, you might be wondering, “Do you get bond money back from a bail bondsman?” To answer this question, let’s first break down what bail and bond are, how the bail bond process works, and how much a typical bail bond will set you back.

What is bail?

Bail is a process where a court releases a defendant from custody prior to trial, provided they agree to return for their court date and follow any other conditions set by the court. The purpose of bail is to ensure the defendant appears for their court date and does not commit any additional crimes while out on bail. Bail is typically set by a judge during a bail hearing, and the amount is based on the severity of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, and whether they are considered a flight risk. 

The average bail amount varies depending on the jurisdiction, but it is typically several thousand dollars. In some cases, defendants may be released on their own recognizance, which means they do not have to post bail if they agree to return for their court date. However, in most cases, defendants will have to post bail in order to be released from custody.

What is a bail bond?

A bail bond is a type of surety bond that is posted on behalf of a criminal defendant to secure their release from jail. The bail bond is typically posted by a bail bondsman, who will collect a non-refundable fee in exchange for their service. If the defendant fails to appear for their court date, the bail bondsman will be responsible for paying the full amount of the bond to the court. 

Bail bonds are typically only available for crimes that are considered minor in nature, and the amount of the bond is set by the court based on the severity of the offense. In some cases, a property bond may be posted in lieu of a cash bail bond. This type of bond uses collateral, such as real estate or jewelry, to secure the release of the defendant. If the defendant fails to appear for their court date, the property may be forfeited to the court.

Do you get bond money back from a bail bondsman?

When you post bail, the court essentially agrees to hold your money while you await your trial. If you make all of your court appearances and are ultimately found not guilty, then you will get your money back. However, if you use a bail bondsman service, then you will not get your money back. This is because the bail bondsman essentially fronted you the money for your bail, and they will not get their money back from the court. 

As a result, they will keep the money that you paid them as compensation for their service. So if you’re considering using a bail bondsman, be aware that you will not get your money back at the end of the process.

Keep in mind, however, this is not the full bail amount. It is typically only 10% of the total bail amount.

What is the bail bond process?

Given the high cost of bail, many people turn to bail bonds to help cover the cost. But what’s the process? 

When a person contacts a bail bond company to help you post bail, they pay the full bail amount to the court on the defendant’s behalf. At the same time, they guarantee that the defendant will show up for their court date. 

In most cases, the bail bond company will charge a non-refundable fee equivalent to 10-15% of the bail amount. For example, if the bail is set at $10,000, the bail bond company will charge $1,000 for their services. Once the fee is paid, the company will post the bond and the defendant will be released from jail.

Keep in mind, bail bond companies typically require several documents before they will provide assistance to a defendant. The most important document is the bail bond application, which must be completed in full and signed by the defendant. 

The bail bond company will also need a copy of the defendant’s criminal history, if available, as well as any other relevant court documents. In some cases, the bail bond company may require collateral, such as property or cash, in order to secure the bond. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bond company will forfeit the collateral and may pursue legal action against the defendant. As a result, it is important that defendants carefully consider their decision to use a bail bond company before moving forward.

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.