Where does bail money go?

Where does bail money go? After you’ve provided the court with the full bail amount, the bail money is held by the court. The money is held only temporarily since bail money is returned to the defendant after the trial process is over. This is true even if the defendant is found to be guilty of the charges.

However, if the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail money is no longer held temporarily. Instead, the court will seize the bail money and not return it. It is then distributed throughout the city and county as the court sees fit.

This being said, if you are posting bail on behalf of a family member or friend, you need to make sure that you fully trust this individual to return to court on the required date(s). If you can’t trust this individual, you may want to reconsider posting bail on their behalf. 

Keep in mind, this is also true if you work to post bail with the help of a bail bondsman. Even though a bail bond company will post bail for you and you are only required to pay a 10% fee, you are still on the hook for the total bail amount. This will be clearly notated somewhere in your bail bond contract, and you will be asked to provide collateral as a result (which can be homes, cars, jewelry, or other valuable items). If your loved one does not return to court, the bail bond company can seize your listed collateral.

Need help posting bail?

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we provide bail bond services in Bakersfield and throughout Kern County. If you have questions about how or when to post bail, give us a call or send us a message. We’d love to help.

In the meantime, check out our additional bail bond resources to learn more about the bail bond process: