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When You Bail Someone Out of Jail, Do You Get The Money Back?

When You Bail Someone Out of Jail, Do You Get The Money Back

You get your bail money back when the person you bailed out shows up for court at the appointed court date.  If you paid the court the full amount of the bail, then you get almost 100% of the bail money returned to you.  If you paid a bail bonds agency a portion of the full amount, then the money you gave the bondsman is considered their fee for posting the full amount of bail for you and it is nonrefundable.

What is the Purpose of Bail?

Bail is an agreement between you and the court.  A bail bond is not a fine, it’s money given as assurance to the court that if released from jail, you will show up to trial at your appointed court date.

If you don’t appear during the court procedures, the bail money will be forfeited. It’s your responsibility to show up to court on all required dates, whether you’re guilty or not. 

What is the Difference Between Bail & Bond

To find out whether you’ll get the bail money back or not, you have to know the difference between bail and bond. 


  • Bail is the money paid to the court to secure your release from jail. It can be paid for by you, your family members, or friends.


  • A bond is money posted by a bonding company to get you out of jail.

So when you refer to a bail bond, you are referring to a company that will cover your bail with a bond. That is why they call them a bail bondsman.

Will I Get the Bail Money Back?

You get 100% of your bail bonds money back, minus very small court fees) if you paid it directly to the court. If you had to go through a bondsman, then you paid the bondsman a commission fee for fronting the money for you, and that fee is non-refundable.

What Is Cash Bail?

If you paid the entire amount directly to the court, the bond money would be returned to you after the defendant has appeared for their trial.  If the defendant doesn’t make the required court appearances, that money will be forfeited.

What Is Surety Bail?

You’ll receive the surety bond when you hire a bail bond agent. It’s a cheaper option, and you’ll only have to pay a small percentage of the total bail amount as a bail premium. It’s usually referred to as a bond or a bail bond. The bail bond premium is non-refundable. 

What Is A Property Bond?

In the case of a property bond, a piece of property is offered to the court in exchange for your release. If you don’t make all the required court appearances, the court will seize your property.