If you've recently posted bail for someone, you're probably wondering when you'll be getting your money back. When and how you might get a refund depends on several circumstances, including how you paid the bail. You were probably given two options for payment. You could either pay the fee directly to the court or use the services of a bail bondsman. Here are a few facts you should know before getting your hopes up.
Was the Defendant Convicted?
Find out the status of the defendant's case. He must be acquitted or the charges against him must be dropped in order for you to receive a refund for your bail bond money. If he's found guilty, the money is typically applied to his court fees, which means that at the very least, you won't get all your money back. Speak to the District Attorney in charge of the case to find out where you stand if the defendant is found guilty.
Who Did You Pay?
Review your bail payment to determine whether you paid the court directly or used a bail bondsman. If you paid the court directly, you should receive a full refund for the amount you paid. If you used a bondsman, however, you probably only had to pay 10 to 20 percent of the total bail amount. This percentage is typically the bondsman's fee and is not refundable, so you won't receive a refund. The bondsman also may have secured the balance of the bond amount in some way, such as by placing a lien against your home, because he would have paid it to the court. He should release the security when he receives his money back.
Check with the court to find out the exact date when the case ended. This will help you determine when you're likely to get your money back.
Let the court know if your contact information has changed since you posted bail. Your refund is usually sent by mail, so it's important that the court have your correct address on file.
Wait two to six weeks for the court to issue you a refund check. If you haven't received your refund within this time, contact the court to find out if there's a problem.