If a judge pronounced you “not guilty,” this probably is the best day you’ve had in a while. Take time to celebrate, and resume life as normal.
You’re ready to enjoy life with no restrictions again now that you’re not in jail. However, you might wonder what happens with the bail money. After the court releases you, do you or does your loved one get it back?
A “Not Guilty” Verdict Will Cost You
You’re found innocent, and you can now enjoy your freedom. However, your “not guilty” verdict will still cost you or a loved one. You or someone posting bail for you will receive most of that money back. However, you or another individual paying your bail will not receive any refunds for court processing fees. No legal fees, such as those paid to lawyers, will be returned to you or a loved one either.
If you use a bail bond service, you still need to pay that person the sum you agreed upon when you signed the bail bond contract. If it’s a surety bond, you will at least surrender the minimum fee charged by the agent representing you. When found innocent, it's usually not the full bail amount, but it still can cost you.
Bail Bond Fees Not Returned
If you hire a bail bond company to post money to the court on your behalf, they usually charge 12-15 percent of the total bail amount. Depending on the minimum set by the court, you still might forfeit hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars to the bonding provider, if released from jail and deemed innocent.
Additional fees may occur, but that is a discussion to be had with the surety agent you speak with when securing payment or collateral to the court. Any expenses will not be refunded, and if those costs are more than the bail amount posted, no one will receive the remainder of that bail money back.
This depends on the arrangement you have with your bail bond provider. Property, jewelry, investment accounts or other assets are sometimes used as collateral when signing a bond loan with an agent. This ensures that you either appear in court or pay the bail money owed.
Refund Processing Time
It usually takes a few days to release cash held by the court. If property, instead of cash, is used as collateral, it might take longer for the real estate deed to be returned than if cash was posted.
Knowing the court determined you are not guilty frees you to enjoy family time. You can see your friends again and resume normal career activities or hobbies. However, all parties involved in the bail posting process also need to understand the timing of refunds and collateral returns.
Contact your bail bond agent for more information concerning fees, collateral and refunds when the defendant is not guilty. Funding for municipal, civil, criminal and federal cases is available.