When Will My Bail Bond Money Be Returned?
Bail bonds companies are frequently asked if bail money is returned at the conclusion of a case. The short and simple answer is if you use a bail bondsman, the fee you pay the bondsman is non-refundable. For a more in-depth answer, let's take a look at how bail works.
Paying the Full Bail
If defendant Jane Smith has her bail has been set at $50,000, she has two options in terms of getting out of jail. Option number one would be to post the full $50,000 with the court or jail in the form of cash or a cashier’s check. The court would then hold onto that money until her case is fully resolved. Once that happens, the bail money, less administrative fees, would be returned to the person who "posted" it. On the other hand, if Jane fails to appear at court dates, willingly or otherwise, the bail would be considered “forfeited” and it would be kept by the court. Keep in mind that court cases can be relatively quick, a matter of months or could go on for years.
Using a Bondsman
Option number two for getting out of jail, which is more commonly utilized due to California's highest in the nation bail amounts, involves seeking the assistance of an expert bail bondsman. In the state of California, defendants who are unable or unwilling to post the full amount of bail with the court can pay a licensed bail bondsman to help get them out of jail. When a bail bonds company is utilized a fee is paid for services. The standard fee for a bail bond is 10% of the total amount of the defendant’s total bail amount. Money paid to a bail bondsman for services is not refundable.
Bail Bonds Help
If you find yourself in a position where you need to seek out the assistance of a bail bondsman be sure to ask questions before signing the bail contract. Ask if the company requires collateral or if they offer no collateral bail bonds. Many companies are available to assist you 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, and some can even assist you without your ever needing to leave home. Ultimately, you should keep in mind that you are a customer paying for services, and you should make sure you find someone to work with who is best suited to meet your individual needs.
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- Pam in Santa Barbara