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What Happens To Bail Money If Charges Are Dropped?

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what happens to bail money if charges are dropped

What Happens To Bail Money If Charges Are Dropped?

If your charges are dropped and you paid a bail bonds service to bail you out, you get no refund, as the bail bondsman put the full amount of bail up on your behalf. 10% is the bail bondsman service fee.

If you paid the court directly for the full bail amount, the bail money will be refunded to you once the case is dismissed.

77 Comments

Adam November 17, 2020 at 9:19 am Reply

If a person is arrested for a crime he are she didn’t commit in the first place in he are she goes to court and is found not guilty the person should get there bond $ refunded regardless because they should have never been arrested are had to pay a bond in the first place…….

Thomas Kane February 1, 2021 at 2:54 pm Reply

If they had a court date and used a bondsman to front the money for them, they would get nothing back, since the 10% fee to the bondsman was so the bondsman could front the entire bond to the court. It is a service fee. However, if the bond was paid directly through the court and did not use a bondsman, then that person should get the full amount of their bonds returned, minus some small court fees.

Malky loc August 12, 2021 at 7:31 pm

How is that fair. So the bondsman get his money back and gets to keep the money of the falsely accused person. That a racket

Teresa December 24, 2021 at 10:06 am

Out of a 5000 that had to be paid ,to get my grandson out and wait on court ,I paid 2000 down , making monthly payment to the bonesma .The grandson case was dismissed never went to court ,,I owe 800 left out of the 5000 .do I finish paying the bonds man the balance left .

Thomas Kane December 24, 2021 at 11:41 am

Bondsman are their own private entity, so it’s possible to try and negotiate a settlement from the company or owner/agent but it’s not likely to happen. Almost always, the service fee you paid to the bondsman for posting the full bail amount on your behalf is a non-refundable amount and in the fine print, you may have given them permission to hunt you down for collecting the payment, including things like going across state lines, contacting your family, friends and even your job in order to collect that remainder. Just depends on the bondsman.

Joel preston December 24, 2021 at 12:25 pm

Ok but do the courts then pay bondsman back?

Thomas Kane December 24, 2021 at 4:59 pm

Yes, the money the bondsman put up on the defendant’s behalf is refunded to the bondsman as long as the defendant makes their court appearance, usually within 15-45 days, depending on the state and current processing times.

Tonya August 12, 2022 at 5:03 am

I was wrongfully arrested and it was later proven that I didn’t break any laws at all, shouldn’t the county who arrested me have to pay me back my bail money on top of money I spent while I was incarcerated , and loss of freedom….all because a detective did not do his job to start with?

Lus Ramirez September 10, 2022 at 4:57 pm

I went to the court date and my name wasn’t on roster that I had court because they said that the charges were dropped or the case was rejected so do I still have to continue to pay the bill bonds ??

Thomas Kane September 18, 2022 at 10:27 am

Bail bonds agencies are not government organizations, they are independent private companies that offer the service of putting up the full amount of bail to the court on your behalf. They are taking a big risk on your behalf, and the 10% is a service fee for taking that risk. In the contract you signed, you probably agreed to a no-refund policy. They made it possible for you to get out of jail before your court date.

For this one, you will have to talk to the bondsman.

James Pope October 26, 2021 at 4:57 pm Reply

My case was recently dropped and I used a bonds man so does he get to keep my money or is it refunded to me? I payed 10 percent of a thousand dollars.

Thomas Stinson October 26, 2021 at 5:51 pm

The 10% fee is a service fee for posting a bond in the first place. It takes time and resources and human labor to process a bond on someone’s behalf, so even though it got dropped, the bondsman still spent that time and resource on you. So the fee is kept with the bondsman. You do not get it back. They took a risk on your behalf; the case could have gone the other way too, or your friend could have skipped court and be on the run, and the bondsman is then out $1,000 that they put up to the court for you. Hopefully, this helps explain why the bond is non-refundable.

Thomas Stinson October 29, 2021 at 5:26 am

The fee is a service fee to the bondsman for putting up the $1,000 to the court for you and is non-refundable.

Thomas Kane November 9, 2021 at 10:09 am

The 10% fee is a service fee for posting a bond in the first place. It takes time and resources and human labor to process a bond on someone’s behalf, so even though it got dropped, the bondsman still spent that time and resource on you. So the fee is kept with the bondsman. You do not get it back.

Tommy January 13, 2022 at 10:53 pm

What if your cases was adjudicated and you still owe the bondsman Money do you have to still pay him even though the case are done

Thomas Kane January 22, 2022 at 7:46 am

Yes, the bondsman fee was a service fee for taking the initial risk and putting bail up for you in the first place, so you didn’t have to. That fee is almost always non refundable, but since bond companies are privately owned, it is ‘possible’ to talk to them and try to renegotiate a new contract or agreement, though not likely.

Cece March 20, 2022 at 1:01 pm Reply

My husband bail was 10,000 so I put 1,000 the payments was $200 so I have gave him $1700 altogether so I trying to give him 4,000 to squash it he going to say no I want 15,000 I said I’m not paying that so I’m taking this back to court because I never went to court.

Nae August 8, 2022 at 4:14 pm

So my case was dismissed and one of my cases was dropped to a misdemeanor do I still pay bailsbond

Thomas Kane August 9, 2022 at 4:31 am

Bondsman services fees are usually non-refundable. They put up the full amount of the bail bond to the court for you, and you only had to pay them 10% or so in return. Bondsman don’t have anything to do with charges or guilty or not guilty; it’s about a contract agreement to offer a trade; they put up the full bond amount to the court for you, and they accept 10% of that amount as a fee.

Sandra Taylor July 18, 2022 at 1:18 pm Reply

I pay bails Bondman but I couldn’t bond out because of a parol hold got transfer to another state do I still owe the Bondman

Sammy November 23, 2022 at 9:55 am Reply

Yes I know my case stretched out over 3 years the first bond company revoked my bond said I didn’t check in which my phone records show I did they kept my 3000 2nd bonding company kept my other 3000 for charges that got dismissed and expunged Texas

Milton Ramsey February 12, 2021 at 11:44 am Reply

If a court date was never set and all charges were officially expunged by the court, why should not the bail bond money be returned to the person who paid the bondsman?

Thomas Stinson February 12, 2021 at 11:52 am Reply

Bail bond fees to a bondsman are a service fee. The bail bond agency is taking a risk putting up the full amount of bail on behalf of the person needing the bail. Make sure to read the agreement you signed with the bail bond company. Each bail bonds agency can be slightly different.

Malky loc August 12, 2021 at 7:35 pm

You know those bondsman don’t pay that money up front they only promise to pay it if the person doesn’t come to court…. And if there was no court date issued what service did they provide.

Jonathan Saunders November 8, 2021 at 9:21 am

I posted a bond of 1,000.00 and charges were dropped. My family member was on probation. They violated him for the charges. So when I bonded him out they arrested him on the pv and took him to another jail. 40 miles away. Were he had to be bonded out again for another 1,000.00. Caused by the charges that were dismissed. He was only out for one night between the two. Guilty untill proven innocent. Seem really messed up to me. Stuff like this helps people lose faith in the justice system.

Colette Bazzani June 17, 2022 at 10:31 pm

I was told i had a warrant for my arrest so i was taken to jail so i had a friend contact a bail bondsman. I had my friend pay the bondsman $3600 to get me out but no one could give me my court date so i later called the courts and even they said i have nothing on file nor did i even have a warrant at the time of arrest. i contacted the DA and they even informed me that i had no charges and no court date. what should i do? shouldnt i get my money i posted for my bail back?

Tammy July 12, 2022 at 1:07 pm

I have a question 29 years ago my husband was accused of a crime. The case was dismissed but in a way that it could be brought back up. We are in IL and the bail we put up was never returned. I am wondering where the money went. Is the court still holding the money and can the money be gotten back?

Thomas Kane August 8, 2022 at 12:05 pm

If you paid the court directly, then yes, there is no time limit to getting your bail money back, through depending on the state, can take anywhere from one week to months before it is returned once you start the process of return.

Jay Wallace August 9, 2021 at 5:20 pm Reply

I have a case in Warsaw Indiana where I was falsely charged and the probable cause affidavit was incorrect which is grounds for dismissal but yet the bail bondsman tries to tell me even though I looked it up and talked to the court I know he gets all his money back why would I not get mine

John burris July 13, 2021 at 5:39 pm Reply

I never had a court date and never signed any papers for bondsman,can I get money back if no agreement was set?

Thomas Kane May 15, 2022 at 8:14 am Reply

If you cannot work out an arrangement with the bail bonds company to get your money back and they never put up any money to the court on your behalf, you should be able to get your money back. If not, you will have to take them to civil court, and show proof that you paid them, and they will be required to show proof you signed an agreement, if they do not have that, you will likely get your money back. It’s up to the judge and if it was a large sum, probably should contact a lawyer.

Jay Wallace August 9, 2021 at 5:21 pm Reply

I have a case in Warsaw Indiana where I was falsely charged and the probable cause affidavit was incorrect which is grounds for dismissal but yet the bail bondsman tries to tell me even though I looked it up and talked to the court I know he gets all his money back why would I not get mine

Thomas Kane November 15, 2021 at 2:46 pm Reply

The bondsman still went through the risk of putting up that full amount on your behalf so the amount you gave him is a service fee or processing and taking that risk. You can try negotiating with them and see if they can come to some new agreement outside of the contract. Each bond company has its own contract agreement, make sure to read the fine print.

Jerry Gallamore September 12, 2021 at 6:41 am Reply

I posted bail for my son the judge dismissed his case but transferred his bail to another charge. The other charge also had bail posted.

Linda Sztukowski September 30, 2021 at 1:06 am Reply

If the prosecutor agreed to drop all charges how long can they hold your bond money you paid the courts.

Michelle Reynolds October 6, 2021 at 10:00 am Reply

My case was dropped I had to put $100.00 to bond me out will I get my money back thanks

Thomas Kane November 9, 2021 at 10:10 am Reply

The 10% fee is a service fee for posting a bond in the first place. It takes time and resources and human labor to process a bond on someone’s behalf, so even though it got dropped, the bondsman still spent that time and resource on you. So the fee is kept with the bondsman. You do not get it back.

Kami November 11, 2021 at 10:31 am Reply

I didn’t attend the court on the day I supposed to attend 33 yrs ago. They dismissed the case recently. I used my own money to put for my bail. Do I get my money back after all these years?

Thomas Kane November 12, 2021 at 1:55 pm Reply

If you put the full amount down with the court, then yes, you should get the full amount of money back, minus any small court fees that may have been incurred during all that time.

Chentel November 15, 2021 at 11:06 am Reply

I put up 15k with a bondsman. My husband was released that night, but rearrested the next morning before court because he was let out on the “wrong bail amount”. Do I get my 15k back?

Thomas Kane November 15, 2021 at 2:48 pm Reply

Technically you should get the money back if it was legitimately a jail mistake.

Chentel November 15, 2021 at 7:11 pm Reply

Would they take out “processing or court fees” from that 15k ? Also 3 days prior to this, I paid a separate amount of $20k total (10k of which the bondsman TOOK from my bank without my knowledge, and I paid the remaining $10k to equal the premium for the bail amount of $200k). But soon after I deposited the $10k and after my husband turned himself in for a warrant, another charge came through and it increased his bail amount so he was not released.
The bondsman took out “court fees etc.” from the $10k check and sent a check balance of $7k. What happens to the first $10k that he took from my bank?

Thomas Kane November 16, 2021 at 8:56 am Reply

Get a copy of your bond agreement and record of all transactions from the bondsman and read the whole thing so you understand what you signed. Then if it looks off, give the bondsman a call and ask to speak to the owner. Court fees are not usually that much.

Chris December 3, 2021 at 3:30 pm Reply

Can a 3% poundage fee be kept from $10,000 bail (cash) money, when the bail was revoked?

Thomas Kane December 16, 2021 at 2:24 pm Reply

Not sure what you mean by poundage fee, but if the bond was paid through a bondsman, then the bail bond fee you paid to the bondsman is non-refundable, even if the bail was revoked.

Jes December 6, 2021 at 9:06 pm Reply

If I do payment plans with a bonds place and all the charges are dropped do I still have to pay the payments on the bond or are they dropped as well?
As well if the case is over and conviction is set to either guilty or guilty.
Just wondering since the bond is high.

Thomas Kane December 16, 2021 at 1:50 pm Reply

The bond fee if you paid a bondsman is non-refundable. They took the risk on your behalf by posting the full amount for you and that fee is a service fee for that risk. So you would have to continue paying the payments, usually. Bail bonds companies are private companies owned by people though, so it never hurts to call and try to ask. If you put up the full bond to the court yourself without using a bondsman, then you will get your money back minus small court fees.

Jacqueline Smith December 31, 2021 at 12:17 am

I bailed out a friend out of jail and when he went to court six months later the charges were dropped the case dismissed I contacted the bell bondsman and let him know the outcome of his court even though he won why foes he still has to pay the remainder of the bail?

Thomas Kane December 31, 2021 at 10:56 am

Most of the time he would get it back, but once he misses it really up to the courts I’m afraid. Each court in each state may have a different decision.

louie December 19, 2021 at 12:30 pm Reply

i worked with police and i bonded out over 3000 dollars charges have been dropped like they said it would .will i get my cash back.and its been oveer 40 days now

Thomas Kane December 20, 2021 at 6:16 am Reply

Each state is different on the timelines of returns. In Kansas, it’s usually around 18 days. 40 days is not uncommon but I would call the court and find out.

Marc-kino January 7, 2022 at 9:00 am Reply

My case was and I need to collect my cash bail back but I can’t make it in to the court. Can someone else pick it up for me?

Marc-kino January 7, 2022 at 9:01 am Reply

My case was dismissed and I need to collect my cash bail back but I can’t make it in to the court. Can someone else pick it up for

Kelly Hudson January 22, 2022 at 3:01 am Reply

Quick question…. Is there any sort of time limit to get your bail money back? I was sitting here reading this and suddenly realized that I never got my bail back or it may have gone to my old address. All of my charges were dismissed. However, this was 4 years ago in 2018 here in Illinois. Is it too late after this long to contact the court about it?

Thomas Kane January 22, 2022 at 7:44 am Reply

Each state is different. If you paid the court yourself, then you should get your bail money back within 18 days to under 3 months, depending on the state and processing times, we don’t know what it is in Illinois. You won’t really know without contacting the court. If you paid a bondsman the 10% fee to post bail for you, then that money is non-refundable. The amount of time that lapses should not make a difference, so the fact that it has been 4 years doesn’t make a difference.

Margaux February 19, 2022 at 8:37 am Reply

In cases of unlawful arrest and police brutality, is it reasonable to ask for bail fees(10%) to be refunded? My attorney feels I have a good case because I was severely beaten and arrested in a case of mistaken identity. I bailed out for $20k. They then arrested the correct person but I’m still paying hospital bills and could really use that $20k for my physical therapy. I received an apology from the police and dismissed charges but would I have to sue the police department to get my money. Who should I speak to in order to get this amicably resolved…or is suing the only way possible. My attorney says I would have to file a civil rights case in federal court and that just seems to difficult for me. I’m disabled and a recent widow.

Thomas Kane February 21, 2022 at 10:51 am Reply

I believe a law suit is the only option if that’s the route you choose. Possibly an official documented “ask” for your bail money back to the system which charged you. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen this done before and don’t know what will come of it.

Donald Ring March 15, 2022 at 9:59 am Reply

My mother-in-law was arrested and paid the bail money to the jail. She was appointed a public defender and all charges were dismissed. When she tried to recover her bail money they only gave her 100 out of the 800 she posted. They told her that 700 went to public defender. Is that normal practice.

Fedup March 22, 2022 at 5:01 pm Reply

In other words folks, our entire “Justice System” is the very definition of a money making racket and is broken beyond repair! I am not even talking about Bail Reform. Bail Bondsman are on the same level as Pawn Brokers who take advantage of those experiencing a difficult time in their lives! Same with Lawyers!

Educate yourself and become acquainted with all aspects of your case and if your Lawyer will not do so because he’s golfing pals with the prosecutor, represent yourself!! Now this is only if your innocent of charges. If you’re guilty, often times that’s where an attorney really earns their overpriced fees, but even still, it’s all based upon a handshake agreement between those prosecuting you and those who are supposed to defend you.

It’s been said that the person who represents himself has a fool for an Attorney. I would be willing to bet, that an Attorney is the originator of that quote! Thats why at 44 years of age, I am going to Law School. Strictly to help those who are caught up in the most corrupt , organized crime ring that is the US “Justice System!”

Angela Segura March 24, 2022 at 10:45 pm Reply

I was arrested a few years ago and boned out the case is now closed however the bail bonds continue to harass me for the remaining money, is it possible that I can be arrested for not paying the amount even though my case is closed?

Thomas Kane March 25, 2022 at 9:13 am Reply

The bail bonds company put up the money in the beginning to the court on your behalf, the fee to them for doing that is non-refundable. You can’t be arrested but you likely signed an agreement stating they can hunt you down for payment, contact your work, family and friends, etc… depending on the amount, if you don’t pay it is likely they may end up serving you a notice to appear in civil court.

Chimeka Marshall April 4, 2022 at 1:22 pm Reply

Hello. I have a question. My son charges were dropped March 25th. The lawyer didn’t tell me till the 27th. I bonded him out on the 26 not knowing the charges were dropped. I still owe 2500 for a case that was dismissed before I posted the bond. Is there a way I can be refunded

Kenny April 20, 2022 at 11:27 am Reply

So I bond out of jail a few days later I plead guilty he dismissed all the charges but 1 and gave me probation for a year I paid 700 to get out owe 400$ while being out I paid 200$ while out court came the dropped charges do I owe the other 200$ and if so I could I be locked up but what charges?

Thomas Kane April 20, 2022 at 2:00 pm Reply

If you paid a bondsman, then yes you still owe the bondsman the fee. Bondsman charge a service fee for putting up the full amount of bail to the court on your behalf, it’s a risk they take to help you out. They don’t get their money back for sometimes months afterward, minus small court fees. It’s non-refundable however most bonding companies are willing to do trade deals or take payments, just call them and talk to them.

Corey April 26, 2022 at 9:37 pm Reply

Do you have to finish paying the full bond amount if the case was thrown out or pulled and never went to court?

David June 10, 2022 at 6:15 pm Reply

If I paid the court my bond then went to court and they didn’t file charges and I got my money back then a year later they bring the charges up again will I have to bond out again

Thomas Kane June 12, 2022 at 6:56 am Reply

That is up to the judge and whether he decides to place a second bond or not. But yes, in this case if the judge sets another bond then it is counted as being completely new and separate from the first.

Brandon July 5, 2022 at 10:10 pm Reply

I was falsley accused of molestation and was arrested on my way to work. Had to pay 5 grand on a $100,000 bail. Ultimately No charges were filed due to the complaint not found credible and the so called incident happening 12 years prior. What option do I have as far as recovering any or all of my $5,000. Basically people can weaponize the system like this with no consequences.?

Thomas Kane August 8, 2022 at 12:03 pm Reply

The system is not weaponized; the bail bondsman are private companies that have to continuously put up a great risk on your behalf to pay the $100,000 to the court for you, and their fee is usually 10%, so if you only had to pay 5% then I imagine you got a good deal. If there were no bail bonds companies, you would be stuck in jail until your court date, unless you could pay the court $100,000 in cash yourself. It’s a service fee. Saying you want your money back because you were found not guilty or charges dismissed doesn’t erase the fact that the bondsman took a major risk and put up $100,000 on your behalf to get you out.

Bobbi August 12, 2022 at 11:47 am Reply

Question..I bonded a family member out fee was 375.00 on 2600 bonds ok so I was uneasy so I want them come pick them up why do I have pay a again for them to pick them up the person is at my home

Thomas Kane August 17, 2022 at 2:57 am Reply

If they got arrested again, they would probably be on a second charge and need a second bond. If you paid 375 to a bondsman to put the money up for you, and you changed your mind and want them to come get him because you think he might be a flight risk (miss his court date), then the bondsman will come get him and get you off of being a co-signer.

Alice August 18, 2022 at 1:37 pm Reply

I have a question about this. Let’s say you made a payment plan with a bail bonds agent, and are still paying that amount when you are found not guilty; or charges are dropped. Do you still owe the remaining amount, is this case by case, or do you forfeit what you already paid and walk away.

Thomas Kane August 19, 2022 at 5:53 am Reply

If you paid a bail bond agent, and are paying their 10% fee, then you will continue to pay it until it is paid off. The bail bond agent loaned you the full 100% so they could put the full 100% up to the court for you. The 10% is their fee for giving you that loan. They will likely continue to contact you, your work, friends or family to recover their money if need be, and eventually it be end up with you being served and going to court for.

Loubenia August 18, 2022 at 2:45 pm Reply

My daughter paid $8.000 directly to the court ( no bail bond ) for her then live in boyfriend, the case was dismissed 6 months ago and a check was sent to the address they shared but they’re not together anymore and don’t live there so the check was returned, how does she get the check back?, I borrowed that money from a family member, I’ve paid them back, how does she get the money back?

Thomas Kane August 19, 2022 at 5:54 am Reply

Just call the court, they will re-issue a check so long as the first one was not cashed. It might take days or weeks to get another one though.

Terri degraaf August 25, 2022 at 4:25 pm Reply

Hello…. I was arrested on a felony charge and posted bail of $2500. I was assigned a court date and a week prior to that the DA rejected the case. Just the other day I received a letter from the sheriffs office titled Detention Certificate.
Which states that my horrible night in jail was only a detention, not an arrest.
Can I, or should I, be granted that $2500. Bail amount back

Ronnie October 13, 2022 at 12:21 pm Reply

If I was arrested and was bailed out on a 10 percent bail and then a month later my chargers been dropped do I still have to pay the bail bondsman the rest of the remainder of the bond.

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