What Happens to Bail When the Case Is Dropped?

Bondsman MargieAsk the Bondsman

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I had this question from Joe yesterday on our Bail Bonds Contact form:

Quick question for you. If the court drops a criminal case against a defendant, do you (the bondsman) return the 10% deposit on the bail amount? Thank you.

That’s a great question and we hear it often. The short answer is no, the bondsman does not return the fee. In fact, it would be illegal. The fee that you pay the bail bondsman is not a deposit, it is a premium. The bondsman earns the premium once the defendant has been released. It doesn’t matter if the case is dropped or the defendant is found innocent.

Now, if you gave the bondsman cash as collateral, that would be returned to you.