What happens to bond money when charges are dropped?

If you’re wondering, “What happens to bond money when charges are dropped?”, you’re not alone. The bail bond process can be confusing, especially if you’ve never been around someone who’s been arrested before. 

But don’t worry. Once charges have been dropped, you’re in the clear. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s the difference between bond and bail?

Before getting started, it’s important that you understand the difference between bond and bail.

Bail is the amount set by the court that, once paid, allows you to stay home as you await trial. Since many people can’t afford bail, they work with a bail bond company.

The bail bond company issues a bond, and they pay your total bail amount on your behalf. They typically only charge a 10% fee (10% of the total bail amount). So with that being said, if your charges are dropped what happens to your money? And is it different if you pay bail on your own or worked with a bail bond company?

Keep Reading: What percentage of a bond is bail?

What happens to bond money if charges are dropped?

Once the charges are dropped and all court proceedings are concluded, the court will release the bail money back to the individual who paid it. This is an important distinction. Whoever paid the bail, will receive the refund. In other words, if a bail bond company paid bail on your behalf, they will obviously get that money refunded back to them.

But what about that 10% fee?

The 10% fee you paid the bail bond company to post bail on your behalf is considered a non-refundable payment. So in this case, even if you’re innocent and charges are fully dismissed, the bond money is not refunded back to you. This is how bail bond companies make money, and it’s important for you to understand this before deciding whether or not you want to post bail or work with a bail bond company.

As a side note, the process of returning the bail money back to the payee might take some time – but eventually, the court system will reimburse the individual. It is always a good idea to keep in close contact with your legal team and the court during the process.

Related Content: How much do bail bond companies charge?

Do you get your bail money back if charges aren’t dropped?

If charges aren’t dropped and your loved one is found guilty of charges, you’ll still get your bail money back.

Bail is not a way for the court system to make money. It’s simply a way to make sure defendants return back to court. Because of this, bail money is refunded in whole once the bail bond process is complete.

But again, if you worked with a bail bond company, that money is not returned to you.

Keep Reading: Do you get bail money back if found guilty?

What happens if you don’t receive bail money back?

Going through the process of being arrested and posting bail can be stressful enough. The last thing anyone wants is for their bail money to not be returned after the court case is over.

However, in certain situations, if there are outstanding fines or fees that need to be paid, the court may use the bail money to cover those costs. Additionally, if the defendant fails to show up for their court date, the bail may be forfeited and kept by the court. You’ll need to review everything with the court directly.

That being said, if there are no outstanding fees/fines and you showed up to all of your court dates, then you’ll want to contact the court and speak with them as soon as possible. If you continue to have issues, you may need to eventually consult a lawyer.

How is bail money returned?

If charges are dropped or the court process has concluded, the court system will refund bail by mailing a check. This could take over a month, so you’ll need to be patient.

This being said, if you’re concerned with your refund, contact the court system. They should have all the information you need to figure out what’s going on with your bail money.

Need help posting bail? We can help.

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we have decades of experience helping people in Bakersfield and throughout Kern County post bail. If you have more questions about this process, give us a call or send us a message online.

Interested in learning more about bail bonds? Check out our resources below!