Many have suffered the inconvenience of being misunderstood by the law or the wrongful consequences of having done nothing wrong and wondered if they’ll get their bail back once the court finds them innocent. The whole ordeal has caused emotional, mental and financial stress. So how do you get back some sense of peace? Better yet, how do you get back your bail money?

If the defendant makes the court appearances as required and has paid cash bail for release, then upon being proven guilt-free, he should be refunded the bail when the case is ordered to close. What happens all too often though is that the case closes, but the defendant is left without money and without advice about how to get the bail money back. To acquire the money, you must keep a tab on the case. There are two scenarios in which the bail money will be returned, either the person must be acquitted or all charges must be dropped. If found guilty, the bail money will be applied to court fees, which means that you might not get all of the money back. Keep a tab on the different court dates and mark the exact date the case was closed or it ended. When you have kept track of these dates, you will know when you will get your money back. The court’s finance department usually issues a refund of the bail amount upon receiving proper documentation within two weeks of the trial. It then takes four to six weeks for the check to come in the mail. If it doesn’t arrive, then it is appropriate to contact the court about it.

All that happens when, after closing the case, the judge issues an order for the return of the bail; it’s called ‘exonerating’ the bail. If the case has ended in conviction, however, then the government will retain 3 percent of the bail amount. The bail bondsman, if you had hired any, will also keep his or her part of the fee. It ranges from 10 to 30 per cent, depending on the amount of the bail, seriousness of offence and the defendant’s criminal record. The bondsman does not return any money for bonding out the defendant, whether he or she is declared innocent or guilty. If you paid directly to the court, you will receive a full refund, but when a bail bondsman is involved, the refund will be reduced.  If the defendant does not show up in court, then the money can be forfeited and you might not see it again.

If you did not pay cash and kept a property bond as bail then you will be paid the cash amount of the property’s worth if the case is resolved in a non-acquittal. Be sure to find out what the specific nature of your case is before you fight for a bail refund. We’re happy to help!