Bail bonds are an important part of the legal system. They offer defendants a chance to secure their freedom without paying the full bail amount demanded by the court. However, many defendants often wonder if they can get their bail bond amount back at the end of their case.
The chances of getting a bail bond refunded depend on several key factors, including the type of bail bond, whether or not the defendant followed the bail bond rules, and more.
This article will help you understand the various types of bail bonds and whether you qualify for a bail bond refund.
Cash Bail Bonds
Cash bail bonds are the commonest type of bail bonds. It involves cash payment to the court to secure a loved one’s release from jail. With cash bail bonds, the defendant or their loved ones are required to pay the full amount set as bail condition by the court.
Cash bail bonds can be refunded at the end of the case, provided the defendant did not miss any court dates. The amount refunded will, however, be less than the administrative or court fees.
The defendant forfeits their bail amount if they miss their court dates or fail to appear in court without informing the court.
Surety Bail Bond
Surety bail bonds require the services of a bail bondsman. The defendant or their loved ones enlist the services of an established bail bondsman to write a surety for them. This is often cheaper than cash bail bonds, as defendants are required to only pay a fraction of their bail amount.
Most bail bondsmen charge between 10 – 15% for surety bail bonds. The amount paid to the bail bondsman is known as a premium and is non-refundable.
Property bond means presenting a property worth the same or more than the bail amount set by the court as collateral for securing bail. Property bail bonds work the same as cash bail and can be forfeited when the defendant misses at least one court date.
Although property bonds are widely accepted by courts and bail bondsmen, it is rarely used to secure bail. When in use, the process does not involve a monetary exchange. Instead, the defendant or their loved ones present the property’s document and valuation to show its worth.
If presented to the court, a lien will be placed on the property until the case is resolved. The state reserves the right to seize the property if the defendant misses a court date or fails to appear during court dates.
Cash Bail vs. Surety Bail Bonds
Cash bail and surety bail bonds are the most common options explored by defendants facing detention. Most defendants are, however, unsure of the best option for their needs.
The main difference between a cash and surety bail bond is in the upfront amount paid. With cash bail, the defendant is required to pay the full bail amount to the court. On the other hand, a bail bondsman only charges a fraction of the bail amount, called a premium, for issuing a surety bond.
Another difference is that the court refunds the bail amount minus the administrative fees at the end of the case, provided the defendant didn’t miss any court dates. On the other hand, bail bondsmen do not refund premiums paid.
Defendants looking to get out of jail fast can save money by securing a surety bail bond.