You Can Get Your Bail Money Back After the Case- Info
A frequent question asked by people during the bail process is when they can expect their money to be returned. explained here Often they will call the bondsman after the defendant’s case is over to let them know the charges have been dropped or to indicate the defendant made all of their court appearances. “The defendant took care of what they needed to take care of,” they’ll say, “and I’m wondering when I will get my refund.”
To answer this question, it’s best to first explain the difference between bail and bail bonds.
Throughout California, bail is a monetary amount set by the court that, if posted in full, allows the defendant to be released from custody pending their court date. The average bail in California is about $25,000 which means to “post bail” you would need to take that full amount to the jail, in the form of cash or cashier’s check. The court system assumes whoever posted that money will want it back eventually, and as long as the defendant makes all their necessary court appearances the money will be refunded, in full, to the person who posted it at the end of the case.
Most people don’t have immediate access to such large sums of money. This is where the bail bonds companies come in. Everyone who works in the field of bail is required to be licensed by the California Department of Insurance. That having been said, you can think of a bail bond in a similar way as you do any other insurance policy. The biggest difference is, where an automobile or homeowners policy insures an item against damage, a bail bond insures the behavior of the defendant. Namely, it’s insures they will appear in court when required. Jails allow bonds to be purchased in lieu of cash bail.
The cost to purchase bail bonds is 10% of the defendant’s total bail amount. This means if someone’s bail has been set at $25,000 you can expect to pay a bondsman $2,500 to purchase a bond. The biggest difference between bail and bail bonds is that bail money is returned to the person who posted it at the end of the defendant’s case. The money you pay to a bondsman is a nonrefundable fee. When you use a bondsman, you do not get your money back unless you gave additional moneys as collateral.
If you have further questions about how bail works or what differentiates a bond for bail from cash bail, be sure to ask the bondsman you’re working with prior to signing any paperwork. This will help ensure you’re fully understanding of what you’re signing, what responsibilities you take on when you sign a contract and what you can expect once the case is over.